Monitoring the Northgate Project :- May 2021

Northgate-the fencing goes up

Work has now begun on Sedgemoor’s long awaited £16m entertainment and dining development on the former site of the Sedgemoor Splash and including the Brewery Field. It’s going to be known as Northgate Yard -people don’t seem keen on that -but that’s what it’ll be. As a result we will be getting a 7-screen cinema, 8-lane bowling alley, sports bar and restaurants plus green space. The project is due for completion in October 2022. However, in the meantime it will become a building site and rights of way are going to be restricted and people are indeed going to suffer noise and other nuisance. With this in mind Westover Ward Councillors Brian Smedley and Kathy Pearce have agreed to keep a channel open for residents to get directly in touch with the workers on site and the overseers at Sedgemoor District Council. The first such summit meeting took place this week and residents concerns were put to those who could answer them and take the necessary actions. This regular  section will provide an update.

access route past the school to the docks

Q How will be be kept informed of developments?

A: There’s a website  They also say regular updates  will be posted on Northgate Yard’s social media channels -Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @NorthgateYard. They’ve also said they will circulate neighbours with leaflets. The first went out last week.

Q We are concerned since the hoarding is solid there is potential for criminal activity to  occur out of sight. Is there any provision for flood lighting in this area along the side of the  old power station?

A There will be CCTV on site and it is monitored (remotely) and voice activated. So if anyone gets in there then there’s a call out to 3D security (This basically means they can shout at people). Regarding lighting, there will be bulkhead lighting along the fencing around the allotment boundary and beside the Global Furniture boundary.

There will be a 2 meter access route around the Brewery Field

Q ;- What about public rights of way? Blacklands is shut off and the  footpath from Northgate to the docks is shut off . Will the lane from Blacklands to Brewery field still be open?

 A  In fact there is currently no right of way across the site or across Brewery Field. This is not a ‘public right of way’ but rather its by permission of SDC. This has been temporarily withdrawn for the duration and will be reinstated when appropriate. Brewery field will be closed while work is done on it but a fence will be inset around the boundary. You will be able to access the Blacklands lane , skirt the field to the north and come out by the docks/ Anson way footpath by the school. 

Q So what will the through routes be?

A From Blacklands you turn right by the allotments and come out on Mount street. Or you access Brewery field by the lane, skirt the north edge of Brewery and come out by Anson Way. From Docks to town centre the lane remains open past the school to the Workhouse memorial then you must turn left behind the former Magistrates court to join Mount Street via the former Police station  and along that pavement  back to the Crossing to Angel Crescent. That element is the longest detour.

Q The field is used by many people for recreation and dog walking, what will they do?

Harris Fencing will be used across the site

A There will be no space for dog walking as the Brewery field will  be closed off, and they can still walk the perimeter but the route will allow them to access other routes to, for instance, nearby Victoria Park

Q The turning point at the end of Blacklands is obstructed with railings making it not only risky for cars to turn safely but impossible for Recycling and waste collection lorries, Fire engines, Ambulances and delivery vehicles.

A The Turning head at Blacklands  is now clear and the  hoarding is ‘behind’ the original bollards and is in fact a gate for Western Power. They say there’s no less road. They  will however monitor this and if not right they’ll adjust it.

Lanes will be 2 m wide and wheelchair and mobility scooter friendly

Q A narrow footpath has been made along the south boundary which is not sufficiently wide enough to maintain covid 19 spacing. There is a very short, steep ramp at the end which is dangerous it is also completely blind to anyone exiting onto Mount Street especially for mobility scooter users who would need to take a fast run at the ramp to get up it. In addition to which it does not exit as I believe is required where the original right of way did? As the centre path across the site is now also closed mobility scooter users cannot line up to use the crossing across to the town centre. It is very difficult to turn right in order to line up correctly around the post which is located in the middle of the pavement.

A The perimeter will be Harris fencing, ie it will be see thru. The Path’s width will  be 2 metres. This compares to the pavement on Mount street which is 1.8m. There is now a temporary ramp from Global Furniture. This pedestrian route will be temporary tarmac  but they will put in a proprietory ramp to raise ground level to give wheelchairs and mobility scooters the correct  angle of attack. Regarding the crossing point on Mount street and the BT box, maneuver between there and the traffic light post, they will move this in time….but till then  there will be a kink in the line  between  the box and light post so there will be more maneuverability….this will later  form a viewing point for pedestrians.

approximation of fencing and through routes

Q What will happen next?

A Stripping off top soil is the next thing, then excavation for the swale and pond sorting levels. Then there will be Piling work, where they’ll create a piling matt to punch  holes into the ground -This will  be starting in 2-3 weeks . This will not be during unsociable hours, but it will be noisy. Starting  1st June they will be sucking out the earth, removing street furniture, digging diversion trenches for gas and electric and then ongoing general construction work.

Q How can we keep an eye on what’s going on?

A They have set up a Web cam on Angel place roof. It’s timelapse and you can follow that. There will also be an Oasis unit -a site shed, as a temporary arrangement until proper offices will be erected on site. Site management can be contacted.

Access webcam here

If you want to contact the Wilmott Dixon people on site directly then contact Michael Mackey, Construction Manager, on 07970 699621.

Westover Ward councillors are also available to deal with any issues.

What it will look like