Following a lengthy campaign by Councillors, Trades Unionists, Bridgwater Forward and thousands of local people
showing an inspiring unanimity of purpose in order to provide Bridgwater with a proper town centre post office, including a major fight to stop it being located in Sainsburys, has now resulted in the much talked about 27 Eastover location going out to consultation as of today.
The site on offer is the former CD world site on the corner of Eastover and New road and could be key to regenerating that part of the town.
The plan is for one of the new ‘main style branches’ ,’newly refurbished’ , with ‘longer opening hours’ and ‘improved accessibility’.
The current arrangement – a temporary portacabin on the site of the former Sedgemoor Splash -has been operating since 2011 causing much discontent amongst the population who felt yet again that they were being treated as second class.
Westover cllr Brian Smedley said, “I’m certain it was the united public campaign that showed Post Office ltd that Bridgwater had to be listened to and not just dumped on. We have constantly argued for a town centre location and organised public meetings, petitions and a campaign of opposition to the plans to choose an easy ‘supermarket- solution. In particular people should congratulate Ken Trunks, the Westover resident who spent hours on his own in all weathers getting the majority of those signatures against the Sainsbury location.”
The Public Consultation started 5th March , ends 18th April and the relocation is scheduled for May/June 2013.
When Westover residents Tricia Walsh and Trevor Monaghan, supported by over 50 witness statements from local people, submitted an application to Somerset County Council for the Brewery Field to be registered as a Town Green in July 2011, they were making a stand against Sedgemoor and it’s plans to devastate their community with a massive Supermarket. The Town Green application was based on the legitimate claim that a significant number of local inhabitants had indulged in lawful sports and pastimes as of right on the land for at least 20 years.
For Sedgemoor District and Somerset County Councils – who stood to lose millions should this mean that their development plans for Northgate were jeopardised, they had to take this challenge seriously and threw everything they had at them.
Somerset CC publicised the application in the local press and invited comments and objections. Only one objection was lodged by the deadline -this was by Sedgemoor DC itself. The Council claimed the Brewery Field did not meet the required criteria to be registered as a Town Green, principally because the Council claimed it was held for leisure purposes under the Open Spaces Act and that the public therefore had the right to use it anyway because this was the purpose for which it was held by the Council. Continue reading “Town Green Hearing goes ahead despite Residents ‘No-Show’”
At today’s long awaited meeting of the Sedgemoor District Council Development Control committee, councillors finally voted 8.3 to grant planning permission to the Supermarket giant Tesco to build on the site. Westover Ward Labour District councillors attended and spoke strongly against the proposal supported by adjoining Labour ward councillors from Victoria and Eastover, Alan Hurford speaking on behalf of the Town Council, Nick Gibson on behalf of local residents plus 170 letters of objection against 1 solitary letter of support.
The meeting opened with a rambling defence of the proposal from case officer Rebecca Miller, many of her statements drawing laughter from the 70 strong audience. Things got worse when sole supporter – former Tory councillor David Preece – had his 3 minutes worth claiming he ‘liked to select fresh produce himself’ to cries of ‘horsemeat?’ and a barrage of ‘owl noises’. Continue reading “Sedgemoor Approves ‘TESCO Extra’ on Bridgwater’s Northgate”
Notice is hereby given that an Inspector, Mr Paul Wilmshurst has been appointed to determine the application by Mr T Monaghan of 19 Admiral’s Court, Bridgwater and Ms P Walsh of 16 Admiral’s Court, Bridgwater to register land known as Brewery Field, Bridgwater (a plan of which can be inspected as detailed below) as a Town Green pursuant to Section 15 of the Commons Act 2006.
Wednesday night brought a bizarre Sedgemoor-organised special meeting to Bridgwater Town Hall, with townspeople eagerly piling inside to witness the latest stage of Tesco’s bid for a Northgate store play out in public.
The meeting’s aim, the assembled Bridgwaterians were told, wasn’t public consultation. Instead, it was ‘to fully inform Sedgemoor’s Development Committee’, the body charged with making the final decision to either accept, refuse or defer Tesco’s application. With Cllr Bob Filmer (Con, Brent Knoll) in the chair, and the rest of his committee listening in the audience, the members of the public were essentially told to keep quiet and butt out. Continue reading “Tesco and Sedgemoor Under Fire at Public Meeting”