opposes new plans for 29 flats at Highbridge Canal House site
plans to turn Highbridge's former Canal House site into this modern
development of 29 flats have been opposed by town councillors this
a meeting of the council's Planning Applications committee on Wednesday
evening (July 4th), members lodged an objection against the revised
scheme due to the loss of retail and business space in the town
high-profile Market Street site, which is situated next to the Church
Street roundabout, has been vacant for years since the former Canal
House premises closed down.
Chamber of Trade Trade Chairman Mike Murphy spoke out against the
scheme at Wedneday's meeting, saying: "This site has seen 200
years of retail - there have been shops and businesses in the heart
of Highbridge for years."
agent, Toni Hammick, has told me she can't sell retail units there
as there's not enough footfall but we know hundreds of new homes
are to be built at the Delta engineering site, Brue Farm, Isleport,
and at the YMCA hotel site."
want to see two retail units here and think the development should
be denied until those are given. There are not enough 'shop shells'
available in Market Street."
John Parkes added: "I have grave concerns about these plans.
It's clear to everyone that Highbridge is being overdeveloped and
we just don't have the infrastructure to support it. This would
be a huge overdevelopment." He added that the ground floor
of the development "must be kept for retail".
Andy Brewer said the developer had worked on addressing nearby neighbours'
concerns about the proposed site over looking their homes, reducing
he risk of shadowing onto their properties. Responding to concerns
about 'over-development', he said the developer believes the proposed
new building will cover a "smaller floor area than the previous
scheme for the site".
Brewer added that because the site is within the town centre he
would like to see "some retail or business use" retained
at the site.
voted to object against the scheme. The plans are subject to a final
decision by Sedgemoor District Council.
David Barrett, who lives next to the development site, previously
said: "Something needs to be done with this site, but not on
the scale of this application." He believes the
proposals represent "an over-development and would be completely
out of character with other properties."
applicant, local property agent Toni Hammock, discussed her plans
for the site with councillors in February, as we reported
here. "This site has been a thorn in Highbridge's side
for a long time," and she added: "Now, we have new plans
to develop it."
explained that while permission was granted in 2010 for a mixed-use
development of 14 flats and shops, that scheme was "commercially
unworkable as there wasn't the footfall." New plans have therefore
been drawn up without shops and a flats-only development.