Highbridge Hotel plans supported despite residents concerns
work to redevelop the Highbridge Hotel site took a major step forward
last night (Wednesday) when town councillors gave their approval
to the latest plans.
approved revised plans for the high-profile site, which will see
a modern development of 23 flats plus a cafe, public meeting rooms,
and a new sports hall being built.
Somerset Coast, the owner of the site since 2014, has demolished
the former hotel and will rebuild the façade in the style
of the original building prior to the huge
Highbridge Hotel fire in 2008.
welcomed the new plans, that will see a proposed open-air 'multi-use
games area' being replaced with an enclosed sports hall instead,
as shown in the plans below.
families in Scott Road and Tyler Way have expressed their concern
about the plans, saying the plans are out of keeping with the surrounding
area and that the new building will block their view.
Cllr Andy Brewer told the meeting: "Residents are entitled
to have a reasonable outlook, but not a view. There's no legal right
to a view."
Murphy, Chairman of Highbridge Chamber of Trade, spoke during Wednesday's
meeting about his concern regarding a lack of parking spaces and
the "unsympathetic" appearance of the modern new sports
Cllr Parkes said the new sports hall would "stick out like
a sore thumb", but Cllr Peter Clayton said it should not be
visible to passing traffic at the rear, as pictured below.
Nick Tolley said he welcomes the revised plans for a sports hall
instead of an open-air multi-use games area. "I support it
being a totally enclosed and secure sports facility - the other
option would have been open to anyone and possible anti-social behaviour."
unanimously supported the application. They also supported a second,
separate application from the YMCA for listed building consent.
Andy Brewer said the Town Council welcomes the YMCA's "efforts
to replicate original features" in the new development.
welcomed "long-awaited" progress on the project, adding:
"It's encouraging to see these plans coming forward. Hopefully
we will now see it built."
John Parkes added: "We should applaud any new facility which
encourages community use and promotes the positive health and wellbeing
YMCA told Burnham-On-Sea.com it wants the new building to be "an
impressive gateway to Highbridge once again."
historians say the hotel was likely founded in the late 18th century
and it has been a landmark at the entry to the town for years, as
the Cattle Market closed in 2007 the Highbridge Hotel was secured
to prevent tresspass and authorised entry, however the building
was subject to two acts of arson and was gutted by fire in 2008.
structure of the building was destroyed to such an extent that substantial
fire clearance works were required to make the buildings safe. Work
to clear the building was agreed with Sedgemoor District Council.
part of the fire clearance works and in agreement with the Conservation
Officer and English Heritage, work was undertaken to support the
main building facade to ensure its main feature was protected.
internal features within the site remain and the only element of
the building considered to be of merit by the YMCA and worth retaining
are the remains of the fire damaged southern facade.
this in mind the scheme proposals have sought to rebuild the main
southern facade as an integral part of a contemporary design that
provides community and residential accommodation of a modern and
appropriate quality to ensure the memory and heritage of the former
Highbridge Hotel is remembered and still influences the character
of the area well into the 21st century," it says.
District Council will have the final say on the scheme and its consultation
runs until February 16th with local people welcome to provide their