A SOMERSET coastal community will soon benefit from a brand-new arcade under plans which received backing from local councillors.

J. Holland & Sons Ltd runs the Carefree Amusements arcade, which is based at the corner of South Road and Knoll Park in Brean, between Burnham-on-Sea and Weston-super-Mare.

The company applied in December 2023 to demolish the existing building (including its first floor flat) and build a new arcade in its place, with holiday lets being provided on the first floor above the business.

Somerset Council’s planning committee north, which handles major applications in the former Sedgemoor area, unanimously backed the plans on Tuesday afternoon (May 14), taking less than 20 minutes to give the green light.

The arcade lies opposite the entrance to the Pontins holiday park, which is currently being used to accommodate up to 900 Hinkley Point C workers, in a deal which runs until 2026.

Under these new plans, seven new flats will be created on a new first floor above the arcade, six of which will be advertised as holiday lets.

One flat which is currently on site will be replaced by a two-bedroom flat (the seventh) in a like-for-like replacement.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: The existing Carefree Amusements building will be demolished to make way for the new structure.The existing Carefree Amusements building will be demolished to make way for the new structure. (Image: Google Street View)

In addition to an improved arcade (with new toilets, a back office and plenty of storage), the pavements along Knoll Park will be improved and the car parking will be relocated, providing safer pedestrian access to the nearby properties and down towards the beach.

Councillor Gill Slocombe (who represents the Bridgwater West division) said: “I think it’s really nice that it’s going to be in keeping.

“This is going to be a massive benefit economically to lots of people, and visually it’s going to be a vast improvement.”

Councillor Tony Grimes (whose Brent division includes the site) added: “I don’t have any problems with this.

“I know the area very well – there are a lot of family arcades and holiday lets in the area, and it just sits in the right place.”

Councillor Bob Filmer (who represents the same division) agreed: “This is an unusual building, but it’s in an area where you’re build up with other things that are not normal.

“It’s good to see this sort of investment coming into Brean.

“It’s not been the easiest time for the holiday industry over the last couple of years, and moving the parking from in front to behind means it will look better.”

After less than 20 minutes’ debate, the committee voted unanimously to approve the plans.