Seafront residents in Burnham-On-Sea who live opposite the proposed site of a new £87,000 play area have this week called on councillors to relocate the site further along The Esplanade.
Residents of Quantock Court say while they do support the idea of a new play area, the tarmac area on the South Esplanade that has been earmarked for the new facilities is unsuitable as it is ‘regularly used’ for various outdoor activities by families, runners, dog walkers, keep fit enthusiasts and cyclists, and is also overlooked by their flats.
They have presented a petition to Burnham and Highbridge Town Council calling for the proposed play area to be relocated further along the seafront to the lawns opposite Burnham Holiday Village, pictured below.
We reported here in November that town councillors had given their support to the designs for the new play area, ahead of formal plans being submitted. The project is being paid for using grant funding from the Hinkley Point Community Impact Mitigation Fund at a cost of £87,400.
The designs, featured here, show how the proposals for the new facilities on the South Esplanade will cater for all ages. The site will feature an ‘older children’s zone’, an ‘agility trail zone’, and a ‘younger children’s zone’.
Resident Bob Nicholson told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “Nobody wishes to be a killjoy as the new equipment looks really top class and will surely be enjoyed by many youngsters so the suggestion is to re-site the equipment 150 yards to the south on the grass area which with the overgrown flower and neglected flower beds would be a very suitable area opposite the pedestrian entrance to Burnham Holiday Village.”
Bob adds: “When a decision was made to the use the proposed area, I suspect nobody really realised how over the past 30 years how much the area has been established for many activities.”
“We witness many activities including keep fit, runners, children learning to ride bikes, roller skating, hover boards, scoooters, remote control cars, picnicking, hockey, dog training and excercising, and ball games – all in a safe environment and not interfering with walkers.”
The residents have also written to Cllr Duncan McGinty, leader of Sedgemoor District Council, to call for a site meeting with planning officers to “resolve amicably” the situation “and at the same time provide a brand new facility for younger residents and visitors while preserving the established space for all age groups to continue their activities.”
Resident Paul Hutchings has prepared a detailed report outlining the residents’ concerns over the location of the play area. These include overlooking by residents and safety issues; car parking congestion and potential noise and vandalism.
Quantock Court residents say they are also concerned about a lack of consultation over the proposals, and also that local byelaws – which they say may prevent the development – are being ignored.
In September, Burnham-On-Sea.com reported here that town councillors had voted unanimously to proceed with the project by appointing a contractor, Wicksteed, to deliver the scheme. The contractor’s designs are to be turned into a formal planning application for consideration by Sedgemoor District Council.
Pictured: Top: residents Bob Nicholson, Paul Hutchings, and Austin Winstanley