Controversial proposals to build 248 new homes in Highbridge have have this week been given the final go-ahead by Sedgemoor District Councillors despite local objections.

The outline planning application for a new housing development on fields next to Isleport Lane was approved by members of the council’s Development Committee at a meeting in Bridgwater on Tuesday (November 12th).

The application from Bickenhall Consulting is for a development of up to 248 new homes, to include a local shop, public park area and associated infrastructure.

Burnham and Highbridge Town Council had objected against the plans and while its concerns were noted, the committee felt that the plans would help to meet a need for new homes in the area.

The application was granted approval today as per the district council’s planning report, subject to an additional condition relating to a “No Right Turn” sign from Isleport Lane being added for highway safety.

The Town Council said: “Our members objected to the application on the grounds that there would be an over-development of the site – the housing density would be too high and there would not be enough green space within the development for such a rural location.”

“The design needs to be more in keeping with the existing properties in Isleport Lane. There should be no flats provided on this development as these would not be in keeping with the rural location. Flood risk – we would like to see a positive link between the development and an improvement in the sea defences. The required 30% affordable housing didn’t equate to the 74 affordable homes included in the application.”

The Town Council adds: “The location has very poor sustainable transport links, provision for cycle paths and pavements to connect the main access routes into Highbridge Centre and Railway Station would be required.”

Fourteen letters of objection were received by the district council in which local people had also raised a number of concerns.

These range from access and transport concerns, to over-development and the impact on the environmental, to a lack of infrastructure such as schools and doctors.

Separately, Burnham Without Parish Council had also objected against the plans, saying: “Members were concerned by the ability of the local highway infrastructure to satisfactorily cater for the additional traffic movements which will be created by up to 248 properties; the absence of public transport and any proposals to create cycle ways/footpath links to Highbridge; and the close proximity of the M5 will give rise to noise nuisance and air quality issues.”