Westover Councillors Call for Planning Policy Review After Jazz Cafe Rejection

Jazz Blues Cafe
Jazz Blues Cafe

Westover Ward councillors Brian Smedley and Kathy Pearce have called for a total review of Sedgemoor Planning policy for the Town Centre following today’s disastrous split vote at the Development Committee which saw members divide evenly and the Chairman’s casting vote turn down the project. Cllr Smedley has written to Sedgemoor expressing his concern at the present policy and say’s he will ask the Corporate Scrutiny committee to review the Planning policy at it’s next meeting.

The planning application from SRL Promotions for a Jazz-Blues Cafe on the site of the old Bridgwater Bookshop at 18 High Street was put to the Planning committee in October and was supported by Councillors from the Westover Ward which includes the Town Centre and by the Bridgwater Retail Initiative. Bridgwater Town Council had raised no objection to the proposal at it’s own planning panel and so it was all down to Sedgemoor District Council’s Development Committee to give the go ahead or to reject. Continue reading “Westover Councillors Call for Planning Policy Review After Jazz Cafe Rejection”

Work Starts on £3.5 Million Redevelopment of Penrose School

Plans for new PenroseWork has officially started on a £3.5 million re-development of Penrose School in Bridgwater after the first turf was cut at a ceremony on 12 November. Teachers and pupils from the school were present along with representatives from Somerset County Council, Futures for Somerset and contractor BAM Construction to officially start the major re-development project that is due to finish in September 2014.

Penrose School caters for children of all ages with profound and multiple learning difficulties. New facilities will consist of fully accessible classrooms, a new school hall, soft play room, sensory room, learning resource centre, group rooms, and hygiene and therapy rooms.Students from the school have been temporarily placed at other schools in Bridgwater while the re-development work is carried out. Continue reading “Work Starts on £3.5 Million Redevelopment of Penrose School”

Lorry Incident in Chandos Street – A Wake Up Call

The Hicks LorryThe week started badly for one Welsh lorry driver as he was sent down to Bridgwater from Newport to deliver office furniture to Somerset County Council, who are in the process of moving into Bridgwater House. At about 7.30 he was trying to get to his first drop and, presumably following the postcode on his sat nav, tried to get to Kings Square via Bond street and Chandos street. Of course impossible for a vehicle of his size. So he tried to get out by reversing and turning into the car park of Homecastle House. And that’s where things went really wrong.

The lorry was too big, the turning point too blind, ‘whap’ went a telegraph pole and ‘boing’ went the telephone wire from high, pulling with it masonry from the opposite house, sending bricks cascading down into the neighbour’s garden and the phone wire dangling precariously across the road at car roof height. Continue reading “Lorry Incident in Chandos Street – A Wake Up Call”

West Quay Pedestrianisation: Residents and Traders meet with Council Reps

west_quay_meeting04Two years ago when the West Quay wall collapsed, the West Quay action group, formed by residents and traders from the stricken waterfront, made the case for Pedestrianisation in order to give the area a new lease of life upon completion of the repairs works. The Town, District and County councils backed this, being in line with their own ‘Bridgwater Vision’ plans. Now with a completion date given as the 23rd October it was high time for the movers and shakers of the local Authorities to sit down and face the people who have suffered from the catastrophe for these past 2 years and to get some answers to last minute questions.

A meeting held on Tuesday 1st October, facilitated by Westover Ward councillors Brian Smedley and Kathy Pearce and hosted at Homecastle House, situated on the junction of West Quay and Chandos Street, included representatives from all the authorities. Alison Griffin (SDC Corporate director), Steve Gooding (SCC engineer), Tom Dougal (SDC Transport Officer) and Bridgwater Town Council Clerk Alan Hurford were joined by some 30 residents and traders. Continue reading “West Quay Pedestrianisation: Residents and Traders meet with Council Reps”