Councillors want houses, not flats for Highbridge

PUBLISHED: 09:00 30 January 2011

Up to 400 new flats could be built on the site

Up to 400 new flats could be built on the site

Copyright Archant Ltd

‘HOUSES not flats’ was the message from Burnham and Highbridge town councillors as they looked at plans to build 400 new dwellings on the outskirts of the towns.

The meeting was held on January 20 to discuss Sedgemoor District Council’s long-term consultation plans on building the properties at Brue Farm, to the south of Highbridge.

But councillors are determined to get what they see as the best deal for the town, preferring the building of larger houses to attract families to the area.

Councillor Chris Williams, said: “100 per cent we as a council want houses over flats. “We have an arrangement with Sedgemoor District Council that they’ve built enough flats already in the last four years, and we want houses.

Councillor John Morgan said: “We’ve got lots and lots of flats that have been built in Highbridge because at the time they were more economically viable.

“But they’ve got tarmac out front and back, nowhere for children to pay, and subsequently no social infrastructure, which leads to a high rate of crime.

“If we built houses on the site, it would attract shops and businesses to the town, as well as being a better place for families to live.”

As it is a greenfield site, building on the Brue Farm location would also mean that the towns would benefit from more contributions from the developer chosen to build the potential homes than if a brownfield site were chosen.

Cllr Williams added: “When a developer is appointed to build the homes, we would expect children’s play grounds, a bridge over the River Brue to the supermarket and shops, and a development of Market Street to be built as well.”

The Brue Farm land is now considered the front runner for development, with councillors preferring the easy access to the A38 and Highbridge railway station to four other sites around Burnham and Highbridge.

The council’s feedback will now be considered as part of the district council’s long-term core strategy, which aims to create a 20-year vision of sustainable growth for the district.

The maximum date attached to the strategy for completing any building work is 2026.

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