Contentious flat plans re-entered

PUBLISHED: 13:30 10 July 2015

Newton Lodge Residential Home.

Newton Lodge Residential Home.

Archant

AN ‘UNSYMPATHETIC’ proposal to build 11 flats in Burnham – previously approved for development by the Government – has been recommended for refusal by the town council.

Plans submitted to Sedgemoor District Council last month would see Newton Lodge Residential Home in Berrow Road turned into flats, including nine additional parking spaces.

In April 2012, the Government planning inspectorate overruled Sedgemoor’s decision to veto an identical plan, disagreeing with its ruling that the development would be ‘out of character’ for the building.

However, a three-year limit was imposed for building work to start has now lapsed.

If approved again, the plans would involve the creation of five two-bedroom properties and six one-bed flats, and include a first-floor extension to the front and west sides.

Burnham and Highbridge Town Council’s planning committee last week opposed the plan, as members first did back in July 2011, citing ‘over-development’ of the site and a number of aggravating circumstances.

Town clerk Denise Emery said: “The council has objected to the plans on the grounds of over-development of the site.

“The highway access is poor, and the visibility splay is severely limited at the junction of Berrow Road.

“The proposed design of the extension is not in keeping with the design of the rest of the existing property.”

The Planning Group, which has submitted the application, says in its planning statement the development would provide ‘good-quality’ housing in a ‘clearly sustainable’ location, and quotes the inspector’s decision that the building would be neither out of character nor detrimental to neighbours.

But residents have shared their concerns about the proposal, with one letter sent to the planning authority complaining the development would ‘protrude’ over other properties in Berrow Road.

S Burrow wrote: “It would overshadow our property. It will block the sunlight and give a total loss of privacy.

“The proposal is unsympathetic and totally out of character with the existing building.”

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