At this weeks meeting of Sedgemoor District Council which approved plans for Brewery Field enhancement, Westover councillors criticised the sudden deforestation of the site which took members of the public by surprise earlier this month. Town Council Leader Brian Smedley (Labour, Westover) said “What’s not to like about a high quality town centre park achieved with no net loss of open space. But this hasn’t been helped by the recent and sudden wholesale destruction of trees on Northgate and as a result ward councillors have been hard pressed to justify this. But we have been able to with the understanding that more green space will be created and more trees planted – I expect this will come up again when the Brewery Field will be used as a storage yard for the leisure development in June -so keeping the people informed is very important.”
At a specially called meeting of Bridgwater Town Council members last night to discuss the proposed ‘worker uplift’ with EDF, council members restated their insistence that the Hinkley C project must have consequential benefits, mitigate where unforeseen changes were made and come out of it with a legacy project for the community. The meeting was called by the Town Council’s energy spokesman Cllr Leigh Redman amid fears of lack of consultation by the energy giant. As a result Town Council will co-ordinate a response with Sedgemoor District Council to the changes which will see a major increase in the number of workers on site at peak and an inevitable pressure on private rented accommodation at the same time.
If you take a walk into the centre of Bridgwater you’ll see a signpost with fingers pointing to our different partner towns around the world. Pointing directly to the West is the US city of Seattle. The reason we have this interesting link is because of our town’s connection with Clash frontman Joe Strummer who moved to the area, loved our town calling Bridgwater ‘a Clash Town’ and at his last gig at the Palace raised money to help found the Engine Room project. He died a month later in December 2002. In 2016 Bridgwater and Seattle linked up signing a punk twinning declaration through the auspices of KEXP Radio in the USA which runs an ‘International Clash Day’ every year which we like to take part in. This year the date will be Friday February 5th and all day long they will be broadcasting Clash music from 5am to 7pm -US Pacific time- which means 1pm to 3am UK Atlantic (Bridgwater Bay) time.
Bridgwater’s Hamp Councillors campaign to challenge the proposed development of the historic Penlea House to a four storey block of 33 flats has met a serious obstacle as Sedgemoor’s Development Committee voted 10.5 to approve the plan. Labour Councillors Liz Leavy and Leigh Redman spoke at the meeting but their pleas for a site visit fell on largely deaf ears. Cllr Leigh Redman said afterwards “ I am concerned by the approval as it will have a detrimental impact on residents all around the site with considerable overlooking and loss of privacy, by not going to site the committee lost an important opportunity to see just how close the adjoining properties are, the building will negatively impact views all around the estate.”
Bridgwater Town Council has been engaged in negotiations with Somerset County Council for over a year to try to find a Community led solution to the future of Bridgwater Docks. However, as the parties edge closer to that solution a new threat to the project has emerged as a result of Canal and Rivers Trust’s (CRT) instruction to boat owners to remove their boats by 31st January 2021 as they have given notice to Somerset County Council to end their lease. Boat owners are determined to resist this move and have launched a petition which is already picking up hundreds of signatures.
Petition organiser and boat owner Tim Gilbert says “We oppose this request on the grounds that the request is premature whilst discussions are ongoing to try to secure a successful future for the docks, which includes retention of the boats and moorings. We are significantly concerned that instructing boat owners to find other moorings whilst Coronavirus persists potentially causes risk to health, especially as movements to other areas is restricted and options to move locally are non-existent.”