Burnham-On-Sea Evolution Project gets 'green light' from council
major new £1.6million project that aims to "breathe new
life" into Burnham-On-Sea seafront and other parts of the town
centre with a number of changes has taken a major step forward this
a special meeting last night (Monday, June 18th) of
Burnham and Highbridge Town Council, councillors unanimously approved
the Business Plan for the 'Burnham Evolution Project', which aims
to make the town more attractive for visitors and residents.
also agreed that it should form the basis to apply for £1,663,000
of funding from the government's Coastal Communities Fund, the Hinkley
Community Impact Mitigation Fund and other funding bodies.
scope of the changes was also revealed for the first time as councillors
considered each one of the projects in turn. Sedgemoor District
Council and the Town Council have teamed up with other groups, including
Burnham Chamber of Trade, to work on the projects.
meeting began with councillors considering the feedback from 200
local residents who took part in a consultation survey this Spring.
response to a question about whether there is enough in Burnham
to attract visitors, 69% said no, while 30% said yes.
of responents said they think Burnham could make more of its seaside
location and seafront, while 50% are absolutely in favour of refurbishing
seafront shelters, 49% absolutely want new benches and bins, and
38% absolutely want improved lighting.
the use of the large tarmac area on the South Esplanade, 28% want
raised flower beds, 36% want a play area, and 32% want a water feature,
while 4% say it should remain the same as now.
games are absolutely wanted by 25% of residents, while artwork on
the land-side of the sea wall is absolutely wanted by 25%. A trim
trail of exercise equipment is absolutely wanted by 28% of residents.
question in the survey asked whether The Princess Theatre should
be refurbished: 63% say yes and 37% responded no. The survey also
has found 95% of respondents feel there should be more help for
local small businesses.
75% of residents support the purchase of a vacant building in the
town centre (such as the former job centre, pictured here) to meet
Burnham Evolution's aims, while 25% do not.
Cllr Peter Clayton, who chaired Monday's meeting, stressed that
the specific details of the projects had not yet been agreed. "Nothing
is set in stone, the Business Plan is in place purely to help our
funding bids," he said, adding that the details of the projects
will be finalised when funding is secured.
Cllr Louise Parkin stressed the need for maintenance, insurance
and ownership to be fully examined. Cllr Clayton responded that
the changes would handled as a "joint venture" between
the Town Council and district council.
Cllr Parkin added about the seafront changes: "If there's
nothing wrong with the seafront shelters as they are, why change
them?" But Cllr Clayton responded: "They will need maintenance
work and improvements in the future."
Cllr Michael Clarke was concerned that "the seafront may not
be the right place for a play area - families need amenities close
by such as refreshments and so another location might be better."
It was confirmed that the exact details have yet to be determined.
Cllr Parkin also aired concern that the proposed seafront trim
trail could attract "noisy skateboarders". But Cllr Clayton
assured her that the equipment "will be designed not to attract
Cllr Kate Lawson welcomed the plans for a seafront play area, but
said: "What about the beach - bringing back donkeys, trampolines,
volleyball nets and the like?" Cllr Clayton said these concessions
are being worked on separately by Sedgemoor District Council.
Janet Keen said: "I congratulate the authors of this plan,
who have put in a quite extraordinary amount of work to get it this
far" and she continued that she accepts the plan and added:
"If you don't ask, you don't get."
businessman Alex Turco, who is part of the group that has compiled
the plan, told the meeting: "Getting to this point has been
quite an arduous process - we started back in March 2017 and now,
15 months on, we're in a position to approve the plan. But getting
to this point has been the 'easy' bit - there's still a lot of work
to go into the detail of the project."
Town Council employed a consultant to prepare the Business Plan
which, having been approved this week, is being used to seek the