PLANS to modernise Burnham’s iconic Pavilion with a £100k revamp look set to be turned down by Sedgemoor councillors next week.
As reported, Pavilion manager Louise Parkin was hoping to install a £60,000 high-tech folding roof and other improvements of £40,000 to ensure Burnham’s pavilion continues to attract crowds.
But Sedgemoor District Council planning officer Chris Gomm has recommended the application be refused when it is considered at a Development Committee meeting on Tuesday (March 18).
Sedgemoor’s conservation officer said the project would lead to “significant harm to the conservation area at the pier by virtue of its scale, design and materials.”
He added: “The proposals would block and dominate the prominent and striking silhouette of the pier on the promenade.”
Consultation was recommended to find a more appropriate long term solution.
The project attracted mixed opinions, with five letters written in favour and three against.
The director of Burnham’s Food Festival, Beverley Milner Simonds, objected to the scheme on the grounds that she believes the “plastic/PVC box” is out of keeping with the pavilion and the surroundings. She added the design “gives the distinct impression the architectural character of the seafront is not valued.”
Nick Whetstone, who says he worked at the Pavilion prior to the Parkins running it, said the proposals were “totally out of character both with the Pavilion and the seafront architecture.”
But Anthony Wills from the National Piers Society supported the application, which he says would offer “greater shelter” and “enhance the attractiveness of the century-old building with a striking modern design that fits well with the Edwardian original”.
Sandy Baldwin, who visits the area with her family, wrote in support of the project. She said: “We regularly dine at the Pavilion usually outside in nice weather but when the weather is bad it is very difficult to eat there as they have very few tables undercover.
“I think this would be a great addition to the existing facilities.”
Cllr Neville Jones said: “As one who has spent almost a lifetime in tourism and tourism matters, I am convinced the application is not only appropriate for the site, but also a new attraction but its clean and simple design.
“It will not only give the applicants an opportunity to reclaim some lost business, but also will add to the general attraction of the whole Esplanade.”
The Town Council supported the application on the grounds that it would “increase employment opportunities and be beneficial for tourism and improve the existing building”.