A BUSINESSMAN has called for a derelict site in Burnham to become something to benefit the community.

London-based developer Abracore submitted plans for 35 retirement apartments in two blocks at the Tucker’s Garage site in Victoria Street, but it was rejected in November last year.

Sedgemoor planners dismissed the application, saying it lacked enough provision for off-street parking and didn’t respect the character of the area, but Abracore recently appealed.

Alex Turcow owns the business Positive Wealth Creation just down the road from the site, and he believes the community should get together to come up with something better.

Mr Turcow said: “We’re very concerned about the proposals Abracore put forward. There would be 35 flats and 19 parking places.

“We don’t think it’s reasonable that only 19 people there will have a car.

“There’s quite a lot of congestion there already with the cinema and the post office.

“My business is just a couple of doors down from the site. It doesn’t do us any good for it to be derelict and boarded up.

“Realistically, the site needs to be developed, so let’s make sure it’s in a way that’s complementary to Burnham rather than damaging.

“The land cost £700,000 in 2006. Clearly the owners are investors and we do understand that they need to make some money.

“We just think they could be more sympathetic to the needs of Burnham and better ways to use the site than 35 flats and 19 parking spaces.”

Richard Kellaway, of Abracore, said: “Elderly people have often given up a car, so they don’t need so many spaces for parking.

“When you demand two spaces per dwelling, if you put a few houses on there the rest will be Tarmac. It isn’t good for the town landscape.

“It’s a site that needs to be developed. The planning officer supported the application, the highways officer supported it, the Environment Agency supported it and Government policy supports it.”

Mr Turcow is planning a meeting of the Tucker’s Garage Action Group tomorrow (Thursday) in the Pizey Room at the Princess Theatre and is inviting anybody with bright ideas for the land to attend.

He said: “Obviously, nobody may show up on but we’d much rather make a case for Burnham.

“It’s to try to get all those who don’t like it together – strength in numbers and all that.”