Picture Past: Burnham ablaze and Cheddar growing pains
PUBLISHED: 11:00 22 February 2020
Councillors in Cheddar said the village needed to be able to grow after new population caps were proposed by the Weston settlement policy.
Speaking at a special parish council meeting to discuss the 4,000-person population ceiling for the settlement, Cllr Norman Heal argued: "It is obvious Cheddar is the most important settlement in the Cheddar Valley.
"We are too big to be called a village and too small to be called a town.
"We are falling between two stools. If we can increase our population, we can attract bigger stores and light industry. Cheddar is not big enough to encourage these sorts of people.
"We ought to be allowed to develop and grow bigger."
The councillors agreed to ask for a larger population level with more development eastwards towards Draycott.
The council would also like to see a piece of land in the area of the old railway station set aside for industrial development.
Cheddar, they agreed, could also have a recreation centre based on the Kings of Wessex School.
A travelling shop containing more than £100 worth of groceries, was taken from where it was parked in Langford Road, Weston.
The Morris diesel van was later found in a quarry in Uphill.
Only about £10 worth of the groceries were still in the van.
A home in Burnham was said to be like a furnace after the wooden casing of a boiler flue pipe in an outhouse caught light and fire spread throughout the £15,000 property.
At the height of the blaze fought by crews from Weston, Burnham and Bridgwater, flames leaped 50ft above the house.
About four-fifths of the roof was destroyed or damaged and there was severe damage to the first floor of the Victorian-style home.
Hours after the fire started, firefighters were still on the scene dealing with smouldering timbers and clearing the first-floor debris,
The owner, who had only lived in the house for seven months, said he was alone when the fire broke out.
He said he had heard a crackling sound and when he opened the door to the former servants' quarters, he found the roof ablaze.
He then called the fire brigade and rushed outside. A neighbour said: "The place was like a furnace."
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