Burnham and Highbridge councillors agree to look for new home in town centre

PUBLISHED: 13:00 21 September 2019

Princess Theatre, Burnham on Sea.

Princess Theatre, Burnham on Sea.

Archant

A town council has moved a step closer to finding a new home after councillors agreed to 'explore options' to relocate their offices to a more central location.

At a meeting of Burnham and Highbridge town council on September 1, councillors unanimously agreed to continue to explore proposals to sell its current premises in Jaycroft Road and move to The Princess Theatre, in Princess Street.

Other locations being considered include the former Somerset Skills & Learning Centre (SS&L) building, which is also in Princess Street.

However, some councillors are concerned the former adult learning centre building will not be big enough for its needs.

Burnham North councillor, Peter Clayton, who tabled the proposal, argued ruling out the former SS&L building would save the council £5,000 in surveyors fees.

He said: "I don't think moving to the SS&L building is the way forward for us.

"I know some councillors have been concerned we would lose parking at The Princess as they had heard we would extend it from the back.

"I just want to reassure everyone we won't be extending out the back and if we are going to extend we would extend upwards from the flat roof.

"All of the pieces are in place to move into The Princess Theatre and I think we should move on it as soon as possible."

But Cllr Helen Groves said more potential locations should to be considered before a decision was made.

She said: "I really do like The Princess but we need to be looking at all of the options that are available to us.

"We can't just assume that The Princess is the solution and go for it."

Councillor Phil Harvey agreed with Cllr Clayton's proposal but suggested it be amended to say 'without ruling out other possibilities' so all potential premises for the council to move into are considered.

He said: "Going on with this without knowing the costings and other possibilities is not a safe idea.

"We need to do a lot of research into this before we make any decisions."

The amended proposal passed unanimously.

The council will continue to look at viable locations in the coming months.

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