Crisis meeting for Highbridge residents over council strategy

PUBLISHED: 11:05 20 October 2010

Highbridge residents are holding a crisis meeting about Sedgemoor District Council's housing plans

Highbridge residents are holding a crisis meeting about Sedgemoor District Council's housing plans

Archant

HIGHBRIDGE residents are to hold a crisis meeting over their opposition to plans to build thousands of new homes in the town over the next two decades.

HIGHBRIDGE residents are to hold a crisis meeting over their opposition to plans to build thousands of new homes in the town over the next two decades.

They are concerned at the proposals made in Sedgemoor District Council’s recently published Local Development Framework, and that Highbridge is seen as “bearing the housing burden” for the whole district.

As part of the proposed strategy over 4,000 houses would be built in an ambitious scheme to largely redevelop Highbridge, but the popular Morland Community Hall would be demolished to make way for some of the housing.

At the meeting, to be held at the hall at 7pm on November 12, the Highbridge Resident’s Association will canvass the townspeople’s concerns at the proposals and encourage them to raise their concerns with the district council.

Tina Grey, vice chairman of the resident’s association, said: “Myself and many other residents are concerned how these plans are going to affect the town.

“We’re really worried what this and the EDF plan for the Hinkley C power plant will have for housing.

“For a start we’re worried that the homes that are being proposed to be built would be single-occupancy flats and not family homes. Some of them would be overlooking the Churchfield school.”

One of the major issues brought up by the core strategy is the potential demolition of the Morland Hall.

Mrs Grey added: “We hold Friday community sessions there, we hold lots of different clubs there. We know we need a new building, but this would take the centre away from the community.”

The association’s tenant advocate Helen Groves agreed, saying: “The hall is vital to the local community and at attempting to address many of Highbridge’s problems.

“The meeting will hopefully allow people to raise their concerns before the draft policy proposal is finalised on November 22.

“The Highbridge community is one of the most warm-hearted communities in the country, but the way that this place seems to be used to meet the area’s social housing needs is simply not acceptable.”

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