New application is last hope for Bridgwater jazz cafe

Concept design for how the jazz cafe could look. Photo: SRL Promotions.

Concept design for how the jazz cafe could look. Photo: SRL Promotions.

First published in News by

THE man responsible for bringing acts like Blue, 5ive and Shane Ward to Bridgwater is making a last ditch attempt to introduce a jazz cafe into the town.

Dan Smith, of SRL Promotions, has put in a third and final application to Sedgemoor planners for a jazz-blues cafe on the site of the old Bridgwater Bookshop at 18 High Street.

He told the Mercury: “Everybody has been saying to me how much they want to see the plans go through.

“This will be my last attempt and I'm hoping it will be third time lucky. If not, I will be forced to take the project elsewhere outside of Bridgwater.”

Sedgemoor District Council's decision to reject SRL's previous application for the same project in December sparked frustration and anger from music fans, residents and councillors.

The 15 development committee members were split 7-7 for and against before chairman Bob Filmer cast the deciding vote.

Cllr Filmer said the council had been trying to “protect the integrity of the retail areas” and Eastover would benefit more from a project like a jazz cafe than High Street.

Lyndon Brett, chartered surveyor from Lyndon Brett Partnership, which has compiled the planning statement, said the previous application was refused “solely reliant on Policy D13, which is based on 30-year-old policy”.

He added: “High Street retail activity in its true format is clearly on the decline and we believe it is essential that town centres diversify and adapt to the changes in circumstances, mainly in order to retain vitality within the town centre environment.

“We believe that the application case is well founded, soundly based and that consent should be granted.”

The venue would be called 'Highway 61'. In the daytime it would serve hot drinks, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, and lunchtime snacks. After 5.30pm, the venue would change to a jazz, soul, gospel and R&B themed bar.

Mr Smith added: “This town needs to move forward. There's nothing in Bridgwater anymore and we need to keep up with other towns and move with the modern times.”

Comments can be made online on Sedgemoor's planning website, ref: 08/14/00012.

Comments (4)

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1:09pm Thu 27 Feb 14

MartinB58 says...

Well lets hope planners see sense this time, a cafe/bar has got to be better than an empty unit.
Well lets hope planners see sense this time, a cafe/bar has got to be better than an empty unit. MartinB58
  • Score: 9

1:23pm Thu 27 Feb 14

JOGLE08 says...

MartinB58 wrote:
Well lets hope planners see sense this time, a cafe/bar has got to be better than an empty unit.
one way to convince the planners might be for people to make positive comments on the planning website that show support for this application.
[quote][p][bold]MartinB58[/bold] wrote: Well lets hope planners see sense this time, a cafe/bar has got to be better than an empty unit.[/p][/quote]one way to convince the planners might be for people to make positive comments on the planning website that show support for this application. JOGLE08
  • Score: 7

1:38pm Thu 27 Feb 14

JoRo says...

"Cllr Filmer said the council had been trying to “protect the integrity of the retail areas” and Eastover would benefit more from a project like a jazz cafe than High Street. "
What! by filling up High Street and Fore Street with Betting shops, Loan Shops and Mobile phone shops, if that is protecting the integrity of the retail areas I would suggest Cllr Fulmer thinks again.
"Cllr Filmer said the council had been trying to “protect the integrity of the retail areas” and Eastover would benefit more from a project like a jazz cafe than High Street. " What! by filling up High Street and Fore Street with Betting shops, Loan Shops and Mobile phone shops, if that is protecting the integrity of the retail areas I would suggest Cllr Fulmer thinks again. JoRo
  • Score: 7

2:37pm Thu 27 Feb 14

grisleyreg says...

Hard to believe it was turned down last, Just look at the town centre if this is Sedgemoor's idea of integrity you have to have to wonder where Cllr Filmer shops ,
Of course it should be allowed, It could have been up and running by now and Sedgemoor could have been collecting rent had the councillor not been following party lines.
It is the interest of council tax payers not to leave these properties empty so come on get your finger out and approve the application.
Hard to believe it was turned down last, Just look at the town centre if this is Sedgemoor's idea of integrity you have to have to wonder where Cllr Filmer shops , Of course it should be allowed, It could have been up and running by now and Sedgemoor could have been collecting rent had the councillor not been following party lines. It is the interest of council tax payers not to leave these properties empty so come on get your finger out and approve the application. grisleyreg
  • Score: 7

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