Plans to build up to 121 new homes on land at Lakeside in Highbridge could move a step closer when they are considered by Sedgemoor District Council on Tuesday (February 4th).

Outline plans for the site, which is south of the existing Lakeside development, are set to be considered at the council’s Development Control Committee meeting.

The highly contentious planning application, from Coln Residential, has attracted 140 letters of concern from local residents, pictured below, amid fears that include a loss of public land, traffic and safety issues, access, and the impact on wildlife.

Part of the proposed site is owned by Sedgemoor District Council, with the remainder of the site being privately owned by a few individuals.

Burnham and Highbridge Town Council has previously objected against the plans, on the grounds of inadequate highways access, ‘over-development’ of the site in terms of a loss of open public space, safety concerns around the proximity of the railway, insufficient flood mitigation measures, detrimental impact on wildlife, and light pollution.

However, the applicant has been working to address the concerns. In order to provide additional public open space at the site, the housing plans have been reduced during the consultation period from the initial 127 planned homes to the current 110 proposed new homes.

Furthermore, to enhance safety and the environment, it’s proposed that the neighbouring Worston Rhyne will be re-modelled to make it safer.

It is also proposed that the existing railway crossing will be removed to address safety concerns and that a new, safer public right-of-way for walkers and cyclists will be introduced instead.

The final decision on whether the scheme goes ahead rests with Sedgemoor District Council. The application reference number is 11/18/00087.

In a report to district councillors this week, Sedgemoor’s case officer has recommended that the planning applciation is approved and states: “Having given due weight and appropriate consideration, the principle of developing the site for up to 121 dwellings is considered to be acceptable due to the location of the site within a sustainable area which is identified for growth as a Market Town in accordance with the Spatial Strategy set out in the Local Plan.”

“Whilst the site does not form an allocated site, the Policy team have confirmed that to meet the housing delivery test development of appropriate sites will be required. Sufficient information has been provided to establish the acceptability of this site in principle in terms of access and flood risk, and officers are satisfied that there is sufficient scope within the site to address the detail matters which would be given due consideration in later applications.”

“The development is not proposing affordable housing to be secured through the 106 process but has provided assurances and the Council is in receipt of a letter from an affordable housing provider committing to delivering affordable housing on the site. The landscaping forms a detailed consideration for this application and officers are satisfied that based on the details provided, the development would be acceptable in terms of landscape and ecological benefits and level of play provision exceeds the policy requirement for the site.”

“The application is therefore recommended for conditional permission and subject to the obligations that will be set out as part of the 106.”


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