A PLANNING application has been submitted to Somerset Council to demolish a popular amusement arcade in Brean to make way for new and improved facilities and accommodation.

J. Holland & Sons Ltd have applied to knock down Carefree Amusements on South Road in order to rebuild the arcade plus seven new flats on the first floor.

The applicant, who owns and operates Carefree Amusements, hopes to demolish the entire building in place of a new two-storey building containing a replacement amusement arcade at ground floor level (with associated back-office, storage, and WC facilities), with the seven flats sitting above the arcade on the first floor.

It is proposed that six of the seven total units on the first floor would be used as holiday accommodation.

The seventh residential unit (a two-bed flat) would be used as 'unrestricted residential accommodation.'

There are also plans for a new car park and associated pavement.

The design and access statement reads: "The proposed re-development would include a new parking area on the western part of the site which, in turn, means that the vehicular access would be relocated.

"As part of these revised access arrangements a new section of footway would be created on the Knoll Park frontage."

The proposed new building aims to 'enhance the character and appearance of the area' by combining a primarily brick build with coloured metal cladding and a flat roof to achieve a 'a crisp, contemporary appearance'.

The applicant states that the new-look arcade and flats would further improve tourism in the Brean area.

"The scheme would enhance the image of the area as a tourist location through the provision of a replacement, purpose-built amusement arcade and proposes a significant investment in Brean’s leisure and tourist economy," the application reads.

"The provision of modern ‘bricks and mortar’ tourist accommodation would help extend the tourism season (in comparison to caravans which are often less desirable accommodation in the winter months because of their thermal inefficiency).

"The development would materially improve the character and appearance of the area. As this is a brownfield site, in a built-up area, the development of it would not harm the natural environment.

"The scheme would sustain and create new jobs both in the short and long term."

The plans can be viewed by searching reference number 06/23/00013 on the Somerset Council website. Comments are welcomed on the application until December 26, and a decision could be made by December 27.