September 7, 2017
Council opposes 'detrimental' plans for 33 new flats in Highbridge

Plans to build a block of 33 flats at a prominent site in the middle of Highbridge have been given a 'thumbs down' by town councillors this week.

At a meeting on Wednesday evening (September 6th), members of the Town Council's Planning Applications Committee unanimously voted against the application for 1 Market Street, formerly the site of Canal House.

Cllr Andy Brewer, Chairman of the committee, told "We are concerned that this application represents an over-development that would be detrimental to adjacent properties due to overlooking, a loss of privacy and blocking light."

"We are also concerned that the application would result in a loss of parking, given the number of spaces that was there before. We would like to see new commercial or leisure facilities being introduced as part of the development, not just flats."

Councillors heard concerns from local resident David Barrett, pictured, a local business owner who lives next to the site.

He told "I and others have major concerns about these plans. The proposed development would be over-bearing, out of scale, and out of character in terms of its appearance compared to existing properties and structures in the area."

"There would be an adverse effect on neighbours from overlooking, a loss of privacy, overshadowing, noise, disturbance and very limited access for one flat at Island House."

"There are already on-street and off-street parking problems in Market Street, Highbridge Quay and Huntspill Road - this development would generate high traffic volumes in the area. Access to emergency vehicles would also be made very difficult."

He added: "Like others, I believe that development does need to be done on the site, but it needs to be done in the right way for everyone - especially for the residents of Highbridge."

During the meeting, pictured here, town councillors debated the application before unanimously voting to object against the scheme.

We first reported on the plans last month in which New Shore Developments Ltd is seeking full planning permission to build 33 apartments and parking spaces for 33 cars and 47 bicycles.

It's proposed that the development would comprise of market housing to include 15 x one-bed flats and 13 x 2-bed flats. There would also be social rented housing comprising of 4 x one-bed flats and one x two-bed flats.

The site has been empty since Canal House was demolished in 2012, as we reported here at the time. Last year, town councillors expressed concern at the appearance of the boarded-up site.

Outline planning permission for a development of 14 flats at the site was granted in 2010, as we reported here.

Sedgemoor District Council is welcoming feedback on the plans - application reference number 11/17/00116 - until September 29th, 2017. Its decision will ultimately decide whether the scheme goes ahead.


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