Asda's petrol station plans approved in Highbridge

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: stock image stock image

PLANS by supermarket giant Asda to build a petrol station outside its Highbridge store have been approved - despite objections from residents and the town council.

The eight-pump petrol station at Caxton Road was granted permission by Sedgemoor District Council at a meeting of its development control committee.

Burnham and Highbridge Town Council objected to the scheme saying it was not ‘protecting the amenities of nearby residents’ and that there would be an increase in noise and disturbance and light pollution.

Town councillor Pat Burge, vice-chairman of the planning committee, told the Weekly News: “We spoke on behalf of the residents who came to us with a number of concerns about the proposed filling station.

“It’s a shame the application has gone through. Several people have been left feeling very disappointed.”

Reglan Housing Association objected to the scheme on behalf of their residents.

In a letter to Sedgemoor District Council, the company’s regional director David Hall said: “It is evident from discussions with residents who would be affected that many would be looking to move elsewhere in the event the filling station was constructed.”

Resident Dale Bray, of Caxton Road, wrote: “The development is too close to houses and on a road not built to cater for the influx of traffic.”

But writing in support of the application, Pauline Phillips, of Worston Road, Highbridge, said: “There is no supermarket in the area that has a petrol station, so this development will help bring down the cost of fuel for Highbridge and Burnham residents.”

Asda had altered its proposal by reversing the suggested entrance and exit locations and proposing a new pedestrian crossing to be built to address road safety concerns.

Cllr Bob Filmer, chairman of SDC’s development control committee, said controls were in place to reduce the impact on residents, including restricting the opening hours of the petrol station to those of the store.

Alan Jones, estates town planning manager for Asda, said: “We’re pleased with the decision and grateful to the district councillors for their support.

“It is well-known that Asda’s petrol prices drive down the cost of petrol in a local area, increasing competition and improving choice. We’re looking forward to bringing those famous low prices to Highbridge.”

The planning application was approved by eight votes to five.

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