- Plan for
Highbridge Hotel sports hall attacked
councillors have this week described a planned new sports hall on
part of the former Highbridge Hotel site as a "Lego Land monstrosity."
a meeting last night (Monday April 16th), Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge
town councillors expressed concern over the revised plans to build
the 'vibrantly coloured' sports hall at the rear and side of the
plans to develop the old hotel site, which will include 23 flats
plus a cafe, public meeting rooms, and a new sports hall.
while the owners YMCA Somerset Coast intend to rebuild the front
of the building in the style of the original building prior to the
Hotel fire in 2008, the
sports hall will be decorated with large colour blocks that several
councillors likened to Lego.
Louise Parkin said: "If we allow a monstrosity like this to
go ahead, we'd be opening the floodgates to others - it truly is
hideous. It would be a horrible building for the centre of Highbridge."
Nick Tolley said: "The proposed front of the building looks
great but the sports hall just doesn't fit in at all - it looks
like something you'd find in Lego Land."
Andy Brewer responded: "The front of the building will have
a facade similar to the old hotel, but the adjoining sports hall
would be colourful. Some might call it modern looking or vibrant."
Peter Clayton said: "You have got to think about its use by
young people who might like a modern look."
Brewer said: "It is a significant change from the plain colours
we've previously seen on the plans. While we support the previous
scheme, we strongly object to the new colours which would be detrimental
to the visual amenity of the area."
also heard that Highbridge Chamber of Trade has also aired its concerns
about the "unsympathetic" appearance of the modern new
sports hall adjoining a listed building.
councillors voted to object against the revised plans, however the
final decision lies with Sedgemoor District Council.
district councillor Roger Keen told Burnham-On-Sea.com after Monday's
meeting: "I fully support the development of the site - we
have waited years for something to get done here. I say clear up
the site, then get on and do it."
people can have their say on the plans until the consultation ends
on April 27th by contacting Sedgemoor District Council's planning
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 founded in the late 18th century and
it has been a landmark at the entry to the town for years, as pictured
the Cattle Market closed in 2007 the Highbridge Hotel was secured
to prevent trespass 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.