Future of Bridgwater’s fair is safe, say council bosses.

Photo: Jeff Searle

Photo: Jeff Searle

First published in News by

A RUMOUR that the future of Bridgwater’s historical fair could be at risk has been quashed by community leaders.

People have expressed concerns about proposals to build a road through St Matthews Field (Fair Field) to give access to a potential development of 120 homes by Summerfield Developments.

But Sedgemoor District Council told the Mercury there are no plans to move Bridgwater’s fair, which has a history of 400 years at the field, from its home.

Sedgemoor’s Corporate Director, Allison Griffin, said: “Despite a number of recent planning applications in and around the St Mathews field site and rumours that the field may be sold for development, there is no risk of loss of the field and the future of the annual fair is not at risk.

“Sedgemoor works well each year with the Showmen’s Guild Western Section to put on the four day spectacular event and both parties wish to see this continue for many years to come.”

When asked about the access road, a spokesman for Sedgemoor told the Mercury: “There is an application by Summerfield which includes proposals to build on a small strip at the top end of the field which would be used for access.

“This is all subject to a full consultation and would provide much improved access to that area, including to the fair.”

According to a report by planning agent Angus Meek Architects, the Summerfield application site has an area of 5.2 hectares and includes the corner of St. Matthew’s Field, land under local authority ownership, to facilitate a new access road to serve the site.

It says the area is: “designated for improvements to perimeter hedgerows, fencing and footpath and cycle path links to link back to the main road.”

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the fair yesterday (September 26) Chairman of Sedgemoor District Council, Gill Slocombe, said: “The fair will continue, regardless of what you hear.”

Ceri Jones, 16, who was enjoying the rides yesterday with friends, told the Mercury: “It would have been a shame if this was the last fair so I’m glad it’s here to stay.”

Consultation on the application (ref 08/12/00143) ends on October 16.

Comments (5)

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8:23pm Thu 27 Sep 12

Silverbirch says...

So, if the planning application is granted and houses built all over the field next to the Fairfield, where will all their equipment be stored?
And talk of just a ' small strip' being affected is rubbish. A road is a road, with a lane in each direction, pavements and a significant junction on to West St/ Durleigh Road. Exactly where the charity car parking takes place, so where will that go next year?
SDC love to put a positive spin on these housing applications, about time they listened to what people in this town want instead of bulldozing over public opinion as they bulldoze our green spaces.
So, if the planning application is granted and houses built all over the field next to the Fairfield, where will all their equipment be stored? And talk of just a ' small strip' being affected is rubbish. A road is a road, with a lane in each direction, pavements and a significant junction on to West St/ Durleigh Road. Exactly where the charity car parking takes place, so where will that go next year? SDC love to put a positive spin on these housing applications, about time they listened to what people in this town want instead of bulldozing over public opinion as they bulldoze our green spaces. Silverbirch
  • Score: 0

9:49pm Thu 27 Sep 12

Waterway says...

So a representative of the council has finally confirmed there are plans to put a road on the Fairfield to provide access to a proposed housing development -so the rumours are not unjustified. Once a road is established there will also be pavements and there will be even further applications to build even more houses we don't need because there will be an access road.
Challenge to the Bridgwater Mercury Editor - Let us know how The Mercury stand on this subject and ask your readers what they feel about a road being built across one of the last green areas of our town and home to our annual Fair and Firework display. The council can not be allowed to encroach on any of the Fairfield to build a road for housing, the people of Bridgwater will not accept the loss of such historical importance to build 120 new homes, to do so would be the beginning of the end for Bridgwater Fair.
So a representative of the council has finally confirmed there are plans to put a road on the Fairfield to provide access to a proposed housing development -so the rumours are not unjustified. Once a road is established there will also be pavements and there will be even further applications to build even more houses we don't need because there will be an access road. Challenge to the Bridgwater Mercury Editor - Let us know how The Mercury stand on this subject and ask your readers what they feel about a road being built across one of the last green areas of our town and home to our annual Fair and Firework display. The council can not be allowed to encroach on any of the Fairfield to build a road for housing, the people of Bridgwater will not accept the loss of such historical importance to build 120 new homes, to do so would be the beginning of the end for Bridgwater Fair. Waterway
  • Score: 0

10:00pm Thu 27 Sep 12

grisleyreg says...

With so many brown field sites around the town why the hell disturb the green bits we all enjoy, Shame on Sedgemoor for even considering selling any of OUR Fields.
With so many brown field sites around the town why the hell disturb the green bits we all enjoy, Shame on Sedgemoor for even considering selling any of OUR Fields. grisleyreg
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Fri 28 Sep 12

touchstone says...

Anyone with any interest in this should look a the planning on sedgemoors website (or pop into the local office). Their propossed access road is one edge of the field not through it. However if you read the plans carefully you will see that the plans were written before the Notaro further along was refused planning and is part of summerfields infrastructure plans for the site. It would appear that Summerfield also own some of the site that the council want to used for their eco part. So I would expect that this plan will be approved so that Summerfield don't block the councils other plans. For me the issue is not the application for the housing but the access road they want to create. It is just not suitable for what they want to do Any development will only cause further pain down the road.
Anyone with any interest in this should look a the planning on sedgemoors website (or pop into the local office). Their propossed access road is one edge of the field not through it. However if you read the plans carefully you will see that the plans were written before the Notaro further along was refused planning and is part of summerfields infrastructure plans for the site. It would appear that Summerfield also own some of the site that the council want to used for their eco part. So I would expect that this plan will be approved so that Summerfield don't block the councils other plans. For me the issue is not the application for the housing but the access road they want to create. It is just not suitable for what they want to do Any development will only cause further pain down the road. touchstone
  • Score: 0

1:18pm Sun 30 Sep 12

Ka7e says...

The council has already granted itself permission to "enhance" the Meads with an Eco-park (concrete paths, lighting, picnic benches being so ecologically sound on a flood plain). The road proposed to use a small corner of the Fair Field, will be extended to allow vehicular access and maybe a car park for the Meads development. Also this "small corner" also has to accomodate either a substantial traffic-light controlled junction or the loss of more land to enable an adequate visibility splay.
The council has already granted itself permission to "enhance" the Meads with an Eco-park (concrete paths, lighting, picnic benches being so ecologically sound on a flood plain). The road proposed to use a small corner of the Fair Field, will be extended to allow vehicular access and maybe a car park for the Meads development. Also this "small corner" also has to accomodate either a substantial traffic-light controlled junction or the loss of more land to enable an adequate visibility splay. Ka7e
  • Score: 0

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