Councillors vote against Travelodge plans
PUBLISHED: 17:30 02 September 2017
Councillors have opposed plans to build a 75-bedroom hotel in Highbridge.
As reported by the Mercury earlier this month, plans to build a Travelodge on undeveloped land off Bennett Road in the Isleport Business Park have been submitted to Sedgemoor District Council.
The four-storey hotel would also include a café bar and parking spaces for more than 70 vehicles.
Plans are in place for an Aldi store at the business park, which has been approved by Sedgemoor District Council, while a fast food restaurant is also rumoured to be in the pipeline.
But Burnham and Highbridge town councillors feel these applications go against proposals to earmark the new part of the business park for light industrial use and fear it will take custom away from the town centre.
John Parkes, who represents Highbridge on the town council, said:
“You may recall mine, and others’, objection to the Aldi site on the basis that it contravened their (Sedgemoor District Council) own core strategy for the area as part of Isleport 2 being designated for light industrial use.
“Both the Aldi store and the Travelodge are not light industry, are they?
“However, running parallel with the Aldi development and Travelodge, is the likely planning submission for a fast food outlet.
“Consequently, this does not support Sedgemoor’s core strategy either in enhancing our service centres as surely these developments are out of town taking business away from our local centres.
“What effects will this have on the Co-op and the other local food outlets?
“In addition, having stayed in Travelodges when in the West Midlands, this hotel chain attracts a transient population – people just passing through rather than staying more than a day or two.
“According to a report in April 2017 business customers make up half of Travelodge clients.
“Will these same customers visit Highbridge if the town continues to decline with the competition from Aldi, Travelodge and maybe a fast food outlet?”
Although the development is predicted to create around 20 jobs, there are concerns these would not be highly-skilled roles, while the building’s design has also been criticised.