Planning permission passed by one vote for ‘workhouse’ Care Home burial site development

workhouse or prison
“Workhouse or Prison?”

Sedgemoors planning committee voted by 7 votes to 6 against the wishes of ward councillors, residents and Bridgwater councillors present, to approve the controversial proposal for a 45 bed care home on the site of the Sion chapel burial ground in Bridgwater’s historic Friarn street.

Proposing the motion Cllr Derek Alder (Con Kings isle) said “There maybe some overshadowing of nearby properties but by Bridgwater standards it’s quite reasonable” . He was seconded by Cllr Mike Mansfield (Ind Highbridge) who said “We’ll all need care homes soon”. But one where the only amenity space is a graveyard??

Why are we building a ‘workhouse’?

Bridgwater Mayor Cllr Dave Loveridge (Labour Eastover) said “This looks like a workhouse! Why are we building a workhouse!? There’s no ‘dignity’ in this. It’s horrendous. “

He was supported by Bridgwater Councillor Graham Granter (Labour Fairfax) who said “This is overdevelopment, 7 parking spaces is too few, it’s the 13th application there’s been and really they should go back and produce something with adequate parking and amenities.”

Cllr Gill Slocombe (Con Wyndham) made it a full deck of Bridgwater councillors present objecting saying “Is this a care home or a prison? People will be expecting visitors. I am very concerned about the historical aspects being overlooked and there are human remains here.”

Bridgwater resident Bob Cudlipp said “There is also a flood risk as the Durleigh brook goes right through it and this has caused flooding in Blake gardens in recent months. Will the developers be paying the Flood Tarrif?” He was told they wouldn’t. Continue reading “Planning permission passed by one vote for ‘workhouse’ Care Home burial site development”

Ward Councillors object to ‘burial ground’ ‘Care Home’ proposals

kath pearce at sion
Cllr Kathy Pearce , objecting on the grounds of ‘over development’

Plans to build a care home on the site of a cemetery are being contested by Westover ward district councillors Kathy Pearce and Brian Smedley when it comes to Development Control Committee on Tuesday 18th March .

The proposal by Acorn Developments will see the erection of a 4-storey building to form 45 bedroom elderly persons Care and a 3 storey building to form 6 Extra Care apartments for the elderly on Land between Friarn Street and, Broadway, Bridgwater. Whilst the site is currently vacant and has been overgrown for a number of years it is situated within the designated Bridgwater Town Centre Conservation Area and historically was occupied by the Sion Chapel (latterly the Salvation Army citadel) erected in 1822. Although this building was demolished in 1971, the 1822 building replaced an earlier building which had been in ecclesiastical use for a number of year prior to its replacement and contains a large number of graves possibly in the order of 90. Continue reading “Ward Councillors object to ‘burial ground’ ‘Care Home’ proposals”

Spring Tides Underwhelm Westover

march 3 bobbing around
March 3rd High spring tides and the EA swing into action

The predicted high spring tides this weekend were noticeably underwhelming as flood management staff from all the agencies easily outnumbered water weary flood tourists.

Today’s high tides failed to even touch the underside of the town bridge or emerge through the drains of West Quay although a late surge in Blake Gardens did once again fill up the lower reaches.

James Presdee, head of clean surroundings, was on the frontline today in the park only narrowly escaping getting his boots wet as his staff rushed to take measurements and start pumps whilst energetically striding across the town bridge, head of Sedgemoors Environment department Adrian Gardner, keenly surveyed the unlikely last minute tidal surge.

Sedgemoor was also on standby with a lorry load of sandbags outside the library, possibly pre-empting an incursion up the Parrett by the Russian Black Sea fleet, whilst Somerset Highways people were calmly pumping out the drains on West Quay so that their recently completed expensive refurbishments there weren’t seen to have been working at less than 100%.

And today the Environment Agency had some kind of ‘bobbing up and down floating around on a length of string’ machine apparently to test the  ammount of water tonnage per second was passing by it. The dial showed ‘quite a lot’ and they appeared satisfied and duly noted the statistics.

High Spring Tides forecast – warning issued for parts of Westover

As the waters rose through the manholes extra sandbags are brought out in front of the Fountain pub.
Bridgwater’s West Quay – sandbags remain in place.

High spring tides are predicted between Saturday 1 and Tuesday 4 March. The highest is likely to be about 8am on Monday. The levels are similar to those predicted for the high tides in early January and early February. The impact of the January / February tides was increased by a tidal surge caused by the weather conditions at the time (low pressure and strong winds). The strong winds also caused large waves in exposed places.

As long as there is no tidal surge and no significant waves, the levels next week are not expected to cause any flooding issues on the Wessex North coast. It is therefore really important to review the tides and the weather forecast to make sure we can predict what the impact might be. The EA is working closely with the Met Office to get the latest information.

As a precaution, temporary defences are in place where flooding occurred on the previous high tides. This includes Blake Gardens in Bridgwater, and sandbagging along the lowest spots of the River Parrett, near Burrowbridge.

Resident Parking : The Zones take shape

parking ticket street
The petitions are out there to decide which streets do or don’t want residents parking schemes

After a two year campaign to help streets which want residents parking schemes to make that dream become a reality the process is now well and truly underway. Scheme champions have been active in identified streets with 60% support and Somerset County Council have set up a 10 point procedure as to how to achieve the desired result. Cllr Brian Smedley (Westover) chaired today’s meeting with scheme champions , county and district officers , resident observers along with the county ward rep Cllr Leigh Redman (Bridgwater South) and reports the progress as follows.

Which streets will be part of the resident parking scheme?

So far no street is in or out because first there is a compulsory process of consultation  to go through. Stage one of this is to identify which streets want to be considered and which streets want no part of it. This is determined by streets, through the work of a scheme champion,who could initially be self nominated,  that present a petition which has 60% of households asking to be considered. By ‘considered’ this means that they are included in the initial process of consultation.

At today’s meeting the streets that were identified as  + 60% and therefore to be considered were agreed along with the following scheme champions.

Friarn street/Silver street (62%) Liz Edwards

Castle street/King Square/Bond street (73%) Tony Heywood

Chandos street/Homecastle House (78%) Karen Llewelyn

Dampiet street (85%) Mark Postma

St Saviours Avenue/St Mary street (83%) Andy Slocombe

Blacklands (72%) George Weston Continue reading “Resident Parking : The Zones take shape”