New plans to transform derelict hotel move forward

PUBLISHED: 09:00 07 February 2018

The proposed development of the Highbridge Hotel.

The proposed development of the Highbridge Hotel.

Supplied

A revised plan to transform a derelict Grade-II listed building into a hub for teenagers and young adults has been approved by town councillors.

The hotel was badly damaged by a fire in 2008.The hotel was badly damaged by a fire in 2008.

Burnham and Highbridge Town Council approved the revised plans to transform the Highbridge Hotel, in Huntspill Road, into 23 flats as well as a café, public space and sports hall.

Youth charity YMCA Somerset Coast, which has owned the site since 2014, made a number of significant changes to the plan.

The council welcomed the news that a multi-use, all-year-round sports hall would replace the previously approved open-air games area, as well as the building of flats.

Councillors unanimously supported the application and hope to see long-awaited progress on the site.

The hotel has continued to deteriorate following two devastating fires in 2008 and 2011 and the YMCA asked for permission to demolish it, which delayed the original plans which were submitted in 2013.

A charity spokesman said: “The front façade will be built to match as close as possible to the existing hotel, the remainder of the building will be modern in design and uses modern materials to contrast with the existing building.

“Paramount in the design development was the treatment of the retained Grade-II listed façade of the original hotel.”

The YMCA hopes to use the site to offer a community and activity space as well as supported accommodation.

It said: “Homelessness can happen to anyone. You can be 18 and fall out with your parents and maybe they kick you out.

“You might be 60, have lost your job, your home and your partner or perhaps you are somewhere in the middle, had your own flat but found yourself unable to cope with payments.

“Having a safe and stable place to stay is a valuable step. From here – with our support – young people can build upon opportunities to work, train and study and eventually live independently of our services.”

BBA Architects said the new submitted scheme combines the brief of the YMCA as well as Sedgemoor District Council and other interested parties.

To view the plans, visit www.sedgemoor.gov.uk and search 11/17/00163

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