Plans to build a modern new amusement arcade and seven flats in a two-storey building in the centre of Brean have been opposed by Brean Parish Council.
The planning application proposes the demolition of the current Carefree Amusements in South Road opposite Brean Pontins to make way for the development of a modern new arcade on the ground floor with six holiday flats and a residential flat above.
Brean Parish Councillors are concerned about insufficient parking, overlooking and privacy, an increase in traffic congestion, a lack of E.V. chargers, plus visual dominance and consistency with the surrounding street scene.
The applicant is J. Holland & Sons Ltd, who took over Burnham-On-Sea Pavilion in 2017, and are a well-established amusement and gaming arcade operator with sites across the south and south-west.
In its planning statement, the applicant says: “The development proposed would represent a significant investment into Brean and would help improve and support its image a key tourist location in Somerset.”
However, Brean Parish Council has submitted an objection to Somerset Council outlining its concerns and has asked the planning authority to refuse permission.
Brean Parish Council’s Clerk says: “The proposed development is likely to increase traffic in the area, exacerbating congestion issues. The narrow access point to Knoll Park and lack of sufficient infrastructure to accommodate increased vehicular movement pose a threat to road safety and accessibility.”
“The scale and design of the proposed development are out of keeping with the existing street scene and architectural character of the neighbourhood. Its visual dominance would adversely affect the aesthetics of the area.”
The Parish Council also belives there would be insufficient parking: “The proposed development fails to adequately address the parking demands it would generate. Insufficient parking facilities are likely to result in overspill onto already limited on-street parking spaces, causing inconvenience and congestion for residents and visitors alike.”
The Parish Council states that there are also a lack of Electric Vehicle (EV) Chargers and claims that the proposed site would raise overlooking and privacy concerns: “The design of the proposed development may compromise the privacy of neighbouring properties at Ash House in Knoll Park due to overlooking issues. This could result in a loss of amenity for existing residents, impacting their quality of life.”
The applicant adds: “The proposal would accord with the aims of key Local Plan policies in so far as it would improve the quality and diversity of the tourist accommodation in the area, particularly by providing an alternative form of good quality holiday lets, beyond the extensive, established local offer of caravans/mobile homes.”
“The scheme would enhance the image of the area as a tourist location through the provision of a replacement, purpose-built amusement arcade and proposes a significant investment in Brean’s leisure and tourist economy.”
“The provision of modern ‘bricks and mortar’ tourist accommodation would help extend the tourism season.”
“The development of the site promotes sustainable tourism that takes account of climate change and accords with the sequential test approach.”
“The location of the site, within walking and cycling distance of many of Brean’s main tourist attractions and holiday parks, would ensure the development – both the amusements and holiday accommodation – is accessible by sustainable modes of transport. The nearest bus stop, served by a regular bus service, is 120m away, this also provides access to Weston train station.”
“The development would materially improve the character and appearance of the area. As this is a brownfield site, in a built-up area, the development of it would not harm the natural environment. The scheme would sustain and create new jobs both in the short and long term.”
The planning application covers the “demolition of the existing amusement arcade and first floor flat and the erection of a new building comprising of an amusement arcade at ground floor with six holiday lets and a single replacement flat at first floor alongside access and parking provision.”
The final decision on whether the plans go ahead lies with Somerset Council.