FIREFIGHTERS tackled a blaze at a contentious nature spot in Highbridge. 

The fire broke out at Lakeside at around 2.15pm yesterday(July 19). 

Four fire engines and two specialist vehicle were sent to the scene after the fire service recieved more than 80 calls about a fire just off J23 of the M5. 

Lane one of the M5 was closed as firefighters tried to contain the fire as it was close to nearby properties and businesses. 

The Lakeside area has been a cause of debate recently as local residents have objected to a planning application that aims to build more than 100 houses. 

Coln Developments has drawn up initial plans for 121 homes, an associated play area and a fitness trail on land between Lakeside and Isleport, in Highbridge. But no official application has been submitted. 

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News:

A view of the Lakeside fire (Picture by Charlie Tillam)

But residents have pledged to fight proposals “to the bitter end” and say the whole site should be turned into a nature trail or large playground.

The land is currently owned by five parties, including Sedgemoor District Council, and the developer says if plans are eventually approved, 30 per cent of the houses will be ‘rent to buy’.

Lakeside resident Charlie Tillam said the area has been left over grown for too long. 

She said: "There's 20 firefighters and loads of engines here.

"The grass is so crisp and it has been so hot lately. 

"To think we could have saved all these resources if the council cut the grass. It wouldn't have been so bad or wouldn't have happened at all. 

"Cut backs aren't always a good thing."

Incident commander Stephen Fowler who said Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service was called to reports of a fire in the open at 2.15pm.

He said: "The fire covered 1,500 square metres and we have had four pumps in attendance with crews from Burnham and Bridgwater here.

"The fire is now under control and we will be dampening down and making sure it is safe for another hour or so.

"As far as we can tell there was nothing malicious that started the fire. It is just the recent weather which has obviously been extremely dry.

"The crew have work arduously this afternoon as it is not easy to access the site."

A spokesman for Sedgemoor District Council said: "The very dry weather has caused many wild fires all over the country, on land of many tenures."