New flat development 'critical' for Highbridge

PUBLISHED: 14:00 11 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:14 11 September 2017

Highbridge - 1 Market Street. Plans have been submitted for 33 flats on empty piece of land.

Highbridge - 1 Market Street. Plans have been submitted for 33 flats on empty piece of land.

Archant

Plans to build a block of 33 flats in the centre of Highbridge have been revealed.

New Shore Developments has applied to Sedgemoor District Council for full planning permission to build on empty land at 1 Market Street.

The building would be made up of 19 one-bedroom and 14 two-bedroom apartments.

Provision for 33 car parking spaces and 47 bicycles is also included in the plans.

The site has been vacant since Canal House was knocked down five years ago, two years after outline planning permission was awarded for the development of 14 flats and shops at the site.

The application’s design and access statement says it is ‘critical’ the site is developed for the benefit of the town.

It adds: “Canal House was demolished in June 2012 primarily for reasons of health and safety.

“The stability of the existing structure was of great concern and public safety had to become a priority.

“Since the demolition was undertaken, much to the dismay of the local council and public, the site has stood empty.

“It is critical for the surrounding areas and the town as a whole that this site is not allowed to be left as it currently is.

“Other than its prominent location, the site is also significant as it sits alongside the brick wall over the old River Brue – the site of the high bridge which after which this market town was named.

“Highbridge has for a while required investment and regeneration.

“Partnerships have been set up to assist with this, such as the Burnham and Highbridge Regeneration Partnership.

“It is important to understand what other changes and developments are happening around the site to ensure there is no conflict with the scheme we are proposing.”

Work is also expected to start in September at the former Highbridge Hotel in Huntspill Road, which YMCA Somerset Coast is planning to transform into a community hub with 22 affordable flats for young people.

Plans have also been submitted to build a 75-bedroom Travelodge hotel at the Isleport Business Park.

The consultation period for the Market Street application expires on September 29.

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