over plans to build 130 homes on public field in Highbridge
public field on the outskirts of Highbridge could be turned into
a major new housing development of up to 130 homes under controversial
plans just unveiled.
property developer Toni Hammick has revealed the 'concept plans'
for a development of 'affordable' homes on land between Lakeside
to Burnham and Highbridge town councillors, she admits the scheme
"may be controversial" due to the proposed loss of a publicly-owned
field - the site is owned by five owners, one of whom is Sedgemoor
loss of any public open space is always a very sensitive issue,
but if we can provide quality open space then the reduction may
be acceptable" she added, explaining that a fitness trail and
children's play area would be provided alongside the new homes.
field is under-used at the moment and is usually kept locked by
Sedgemoor District Council to prevent anti-social behaviour,"
said Toni, pictured above.
are not proposing to put more 'boxes' here, but a bespoke development
of affordable housing to fully suit the town's needs."
explained that it is intended the properties would be rental homes
for around five years before the leases would then become available
have ticked a lot of the boxes in the latest Burnham-On-Sea and
Highbridge Neighbourhood Plan and Sedgemoor's local plan, so issues
such as flooding and transport are being addressed."
Highbridge town councillor Cllr John Parkes said he is unhappy about
the scheme, saying: "I have concerns that Highbridge is being
over-developed with 800+ new homes planned for other sites including
would be very surprised if you don't see huge opposition to these
proposals at this location."
have £400,000 of developer funding available that was to be
partly used on improving the public right of way access to this
Parkes, pictured above, added: "It always feels
as though housing developments are 'done to' Highbridge rather than
'done with' local people."
continued: "There are plenty of other more suitable sites that
could be looked at for new housing."
Toni Hammick said she "fully understands the concerns of residents".
She added that the new site, if approved, would see a development
of "quality new homes" provided by a new tenderer that
she believes "would improve Highbridge."
Peter Burridge-Clayton asked whether the plans include the infilling
of any of the nearby lakes which he remarked had been contentious
in the past.
Hammick explained this is not intended: "We have no plans to
touch the lakes," she said.
Andy Brewer asked when the proposals would move from the current
"concept" stage to a formal planning application for councillors
and residents to submit their views.
explained that the scheme would be submitted over the "next
few weeks" and would initially be lodged as a 'reserved matters
application' before full planning consent is sought later.
The controversial plans and the slides that were shown at the Town
Council meeting (photos: Burnham-On-Sea.com)