18th May 2020 – 11. Parish Regeneration Proposal

Proposal to work collaboratively to produce a new inclusive plan for regeneration of the entire parish of Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge Cllrs Peter Clayton & Dawn Carey. The Burnham Evolution Business Plan It is proposed that the Burnham Evolution Business Plan, as published, has run its course and that it is time to produce and implement a new regeneration plan that is inclusive of the entire parish of Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge.

The Business Plan remains a useful resource that has been successful in achieving the funding to make some improvements to the sea front and Princess Theatre, along with some provision for business support. The main focus of the Plan was to bring the former High Street Job Centre back into use, but the funding sought from the Coastal Communities Fund was not successful and this aspect has therefore not been able to proceed. The existing BE Partnership agrees that, although the former Job Centre is part of the regeneration needed in Burnham, it is not paramount when considering the associated costs in a single location, particularly when taking into account the likely poor condition of the building. Instead, the Partnership has embarked upon a shift in focus to identify needs through the entire length Burnham town centre.

Beyond Burnham Evolution There is another line of thinking that the focus of regeneration should not stop at the end of the high street in Burnham but should continue through the existing footpaths and transport links to Highbridge, where there are similar town centre economic needs as well as very different specific social needs. It is proposed that a new regeneration group is formed with a new plan to reflect a single ambition to regenerate both towns; the whole parish. Gathering initial data to begin The new group will begin by making an assessment of the economic and social needs in both towns.

It is suggested that, to engage public interest and encourage public participation, the group should open discussion using initial high-level landscape design plans. The designs could be used to support community transport planning and identify social spaces, as well as providing an accessible visual tool that can be used to more easily engage public participation to inform economic and social needs. Funding It is intended that the group will seek external funding to bring in, where necessary, the expertise to implement the parish-wide regeneration strategy. To achieve this, it will be of particular importance from the outset to engage the support of the principal councils and our Member of Parliament.

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