PLANS to demolish a block of five garages to make way for a new house in Burnham-on-Sea have been approved by Somerset Council. 

The applicant sought permission to replace the garages, located on the corner of Dunstan Road and Oxford Street, with a one-and-a-half-storey, three-bedroom home. 

The proposals described the garages as being “in a poor visual condition” and at odds with the character of nearby properties.

The plans – which were supported by Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge Town Council – were given the green light by the unitary authority on Friday, September 22.

Four local residents wrote letters of support for the proposals, citing visual improvements the development will bring and a need for more local housing. 

But seven objections were lodged, which mainly referred to the site's proximity to a busy junction and the “dire” parking situation some people are facing. 

One resident of Victoria Street said: “There are a number of houses and flats that struggle to find parking during the day due to town centre parking restrictions. 

“We are often forced to park up to half a mile away, particularly during the summer season. 

“I object to the loss of town centre parking until a viable town centre parking scheme for town residents is in place.”

Two parking spaces will be provided for the new dwelling, while the applicant says the development will “reduce the number of vehicle movements and demand for parking compared to the extant use as garaging”, adding: “If there was a need for further parking, then this is available at the public car park some 150 metres south off Oxford Steet.”

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: The back of the garages block, shown from Oxford Street.The back of the garages block, shown from Oxford Street. (Image: Google Street View)

The planning application, prepared by Williams Planning Ltd on the applicant's behalf, said: “The proposal seeks planning permission for the demolition of the existing garage block and development of one dwellinghouse.

“The proposed development will create a three-bedroom dwelling with associated kitchen, dining and living spaces. All bedrooms are provided at first floor.”

It added: “The site subject of the application forms a brownfield site with a small number of privately owned garages that have no public access.

“The site is in poor visual condition and offers an excellent opportunity to a new dwelling within settlement limits.

“Development of new homes in this location will afford future residents easy access to employment opportunities, education, health and social care facilities.

“The site is within easy walking distance of retail, employment, education and health services as well as sustainable transport options.”