Town councillors last night (Monday) rejected plans for a hardware shop in Burnham-On-Sea town centre to be turned into a new development of six flats.

Salways Hardware in Regent Street formally shut down at the end of 2015 after almost 100 years of business but, as first reported by here last week, WE Salway Limited is seeking full planning permission for a change of use of the property to create six new flats.

Cllr Louise Parkin told the meeting: “I’m totally against turning the ground floor shop into flats – it’s inconsistent with our policy.”

Cllr John Parkes added: “We’ve already set a principal in Highbridge in trying to retain ground floor shops, so I’d be against this shop being turned into flats here. Some people have said to me ‘why couldn’t this become a small Argos or Next’ in order to add to what Burnham offers as a town centre.”

Cllr Andy Brewer: “Regent Street is nearly all retail shops at the moment,” but he added: “The fact that there would be no parking facilities for these six flats is already accepted in a town centre location.”

Cllr Bill Hancock expressed “concern” about a lack of back access to the premises for residents.

Councillors decided to object against the scheme, citing a a loss of retail facilities, however the final decision sits with Sedgemoor District Council.

The application is for a single one-bedroom flat and five two-bedroom flats, plus an extension to the south elevation and the creation of an enclosed courtyard.

Feedback is being invited form the public on the application, reference number 11/17/00037, before the deadline of April 14th.

Salways owner Colin Morris previously told “Unfortunately, the shop has not made a profit for several years and we’ve made the decision to call it a day and close down. It’s a sad time – the shop has been running for around 100 years in Burnham.”

He added that increased competition in Burnham had hurt the shop’s trade in recent years. There are two other hardware stores in Burnham-On-Sea town centre – Home Hardware in the High Street and Proper Job in Adam Street.