residents fill meeting to voice fears over plan for 120 homes
of concerned residents crowded into a public meeting on Thursday
night (July 5th) to air their concerns about a controversial scheme
to build more than 120 new homes on a public field next to Highbridge's
Lakeside housing development.
debate took place at the Town Council Chambers in Burnham-On-Sea
where agent Toni Hammick defended the scheme against strong local
aired their concerns about the loss of public open space, poor road
access and increased traffic, the environmental impact, and the
safety of a rhyne running across the site.
Charlie Tillam told the meeting: "All I hear is money,
money, money - no-one is fighting our corner or considering the
residents' opinions here."
told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "We are fighting this not just for
Lakeside residents but for the whole Highbridge community - there
are other open spaces earmarked for development. If this one goes
through, it just opens the doors."
is not a safe place to build 120 family homes surrounded by five
lakes with an open railway line, an industrial estate and two rhynes
running along the field. The A38 access is horrendous and traffic
increases daily due to the industrial estates being expanded. The
Lakeside road is not wide or strong enough."
need schools built like the one that was promised us years ago.
We need doctors, more hospital facilities and the green land protected
with wildlife on it for our children and their children. Stand with
us, not just to protect Lakeside but the whole community area for
the local children."
Jason Edwards added: "We all bought homes here because
it was a quiet estate. The public services are just not there to
support another housing development - the doctors surgeries are
already busy with 2-week waits for appointments. I will have 300
extra vehicles a day coming past my house if this gets the go-ahead,
so access is a big issue for me."
Brewer from Highbridge Angling Association, which oversees the
angling lakes next to the proposed development, also spoke out against
the "unacceptable" plans.
said: "As a significant land owner with approximately 21 acres
of land adjacent to the proposed development, we strongly object
to houses being built adjacent to, or on our land. The development
will have unacceptable impacts to our club."
have the right to privacy, we have a duty to protect our land and
environment for all our members. We also have a right to protect
our business as a fishing club. This development will remove our
right for privacy for all our members - the bespoke houses will
have balconies overlooking our land and lakes." He also raised
concerns about the impact to night fishing, extra noise and disturbance,
light pollution and security.
resident Brian Burt added: "Access onto the A38 is a big
concern, plus the wildlife. This has always been a nicely isolated
public field and I think it should stay that way."
to Burnham-On-Sea.com after Thursday's meeting, the agent Toni
Hammick said: "It was a heated meeting because the only
people that came along were objectors who live there. They are a
small proportion of the whole Highbridge population. That said,
I do understand their concerns and we are addressing them."
told the meeting: "Following comments made by residents about
density, it is now proposed that 121 units are delivered - a loss
of 9 units from the initial proposals. The proposals show 18 dwellings
the access road through Lakeside, the road will be built to adoptable
standards. The developer wishes to assure residents that there will
be no encroachment from the improvements on private land."
concerns about affordable housing, she said: "This is an open
market development and Sedgemoor District Council's requirement
is 30% should be affordable housing."
also added that fears about children's safety next to the rhyne
have been addressed, with the rhyne to be shelved and landscaped,
while the play space will be fenced.
added: "We have also removed the three-storey blocks from the
northern end of the site - all dwellings on the northern boundary
backing onto the Lakeside development will now be two storey. We
she added that "the proposed development will generate community
infrastructure payments of £301,616 to be used by the district
council towards schools, a doctors surgery and other local amenities."
pictured below right, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "The
field is impassable and unusable for most of the year due to it
being locked by the council and because of the depth of the grass.
Instead, we plan to give the people an area of open space, with
play space and a trim trail - it will be a lovely open area for
people to enjoy rather than a cut-off field."
added that the planning application would be lodged "shortly"
and that residents would then have the opportunity to formally give
their feedback on the plans via Sedgemoor's planning website.
Denzil Clarke, who is leading a group of residents
called the 'Lakeside Residents Public Open Space Committee', said
after the meeting: "The level of information from the agent
was much improved from the previous consultation event in June.
It was more informative, but there are still lots of questions and
concerns to be answered."
District Council has reassured residents living next to the field
that any potential sale of the public field to make room for a huge
proposed new housing development would be 'subject to a full public