Planners give the green light to Jazz Café in Bridgwater

A mock-up image of how Highway 61 could look

A mock-up image of how Highway 61 could look

First published in News
Last updated
This is The West Country: Photograph of the Author by

THE entertainment scene in Bridgwater has been given a further boost, thanks to the man who has already brought acts like Blue, 5ive and Shane Ward to the town.

Dan Smith, of SRL Promotions, is celebrating after Sedgemoor planners finally gave the nod to his third and final application for a jazz-blues cafe on the site of the old Bridgwater Bookshop at 18 High Street.

Mr Smith said: “Thank you everyone for your support it's been amazing! Let the work commence.”

The application was previously deferred and then rejected, before finally winning planning consent from Sedgemoor’s Development Control Committee this week.

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

Mr Smith previously said if it did not get approval he would be forced to take the project elsewhere outside of Bridgwater.

Westover councillor Brian Smedley, who has supported the application throughout, said: “For us the town centre is not only the focal point to our ward, it’s also the defining heart of Bridgwater and as such it needs to thrive and develop.

“Planning policies must be flexible enough to encourage the limited number of developers gingerly coming forward. If others see this happening, maybe we can inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs to take up these vacant shops and revitalise our town centre.”

Cllr Leigh Redman, County councillor for Bridgwater South, which includes the town centre, spoke in support saying: “It is clearly a different idea to other cafes and has an extra dimension.

“We should support projects like this and allow our town to grow.”

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

The proposal was supported eight votes to one with three abstentions.

Comments (2)

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3:37pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Tintin82 says...

Great news! Been behind this all the way!

Maybe It's time the town council admitted that the Tesco plans, on which they have based pretty much every decision for the last 5 years, have been put on hold for the foreseeable after Tesco announced a huge drop in profits last year? Many businesses have been damaged, and continue to be, by the utter short-sightedness of these fools.
Great news! Been behind this all the way! Maybe It's time the town council admitted that the Tesco plans, on which they have based pretty much every decision for the last 5 years, have been put on hold for the foreseeable after Tesco announced a huge drop in profits last year? Many businesses have been damaged, and continue to be, by the utter short-sightedness of these fools. Tintin82
  • Score: 5

10:26am Wed 23 Apr 14

Blue Owl says...

Tintin82 wrote:
Great news! Been behind this all the way!

Maybe It's time the town council admitted that the Tesco plans, on which they have based pretty much every decision for the last 5 years, have been put on hold for the foreseeable after Tesco announced a huge drop in profits last year? Many businesses have been damaged, and continue to be, by the utter short-sightedness of these fools.
Tintin82, I do not understand your Comment re the Tesco Application, the Councils both Town And District, want Traders to Come to Bridgwater, but like any Town our Size, the Opportunities for Major Developers, are limited, the Retail Units in the Old Trad High Street are not what Modern retailers can Work within, so hence the Retail Parks on the Clink etc.
What I for many years now have tried to get Shoppers to realise, is that unless we Are Prepared to put Our Money where All the Raised Voices are, ie Shop in Bridgwater, then New Players, may Come to Bridgwater to Open Stores, @ present all we seem to have is £££ Shops, Charity, Estate Agencies, Phone Retailers, Boots/ Superdrug, Shoe Shops, Sports Retailers.
We need a proper, Debenhams, John Lewis, Multi Level Retailer, Marks and Spencer, even, but that brings its own Challenges to existing Retailers in our Town. As any Major Player, if relocated to Bridgwater, would be to the Demise of some of the existing Proprietor traders????
What, I believe is that we should Dreate " Niche Shopping" in the High- Fore and Eastover Retail Shops, Selling Unique Products, Quality, not Tacky, Chinese Produced throwaway Products...
Creation of a retail area, that was Equivellent to Wedmore, Cheltenham, Bath,
Clifton, Bristol..Only then will it be an Experience to " ShopinBridgwater "
Eastover, has the Potential to re-establish this Niche -area as I propose, but the Balances are Paramount, because, Who and Where Do the Finances Come From ???? The Hospital Site, will surely be Scheduled for Housing to Maximise the Sites Value, to pay back the Cost towards the New Hospital. @ Bower Lane.
My Estimation for Redeveloping Eastover Retail, in the Region of £ 40-45 Million Pounds. Both sides, all outlets Independantly owned, no Developer is able or willing to invest in a Town of our Size, if we were a City, with the Population in Excess of 150.000 residents Plus the Pulling in from Surrounding 10-15 mile Radius, it's a different Scenario.
David L Preece
Blue- Owl
Ps. wake Up Bridgeoldboy, I have Posted A Personal Comment, for you to Chastise Me !!!!!
[quote][p][bold]Tintin82[/bold] wrote: Great news! Been behind this all the way! Maybe It's time the town council admitted that the Tesco plans, on which they have based pretty much every decision for the last 5 years, have been put on hold for the foreseeable after Tesco announced a huge drop in profits last year? Many businesses have been damaged, and continue to be, by the utter short-sightedness of these fools.[/p][/quote]Tintin82, I do not understand your Comment re the Tesco Application, the Councils both Town And District, want Traders to Come to Bridgwater, but like any Town our Size, the Opportunities for Major Developers, are limited, the Retail Units in the Old Trad High Street are not what Modern retailers can Work within, so hence the Retail Parks on the Clink etc. What I for many years now have tried to get Shoppers to realise, is that unless we Are Prepared to put Our Money where All the Raised Voices are, ie Shop in Bridgwater, then New Players, may Come to Bridgwater to Open Stores, @ present all we seem to have is £££ Shops, Charity, Estate Agencies, Phone Retailers, Boots/ Superdrug, Shoe Shops, Sports Retailers. We need a proper, Debenhams, John Lewis, Multi Level Retailer, Marks and Spencer, even, but that brings its own Challenges to existing Retailers in our Town. As any Major Player, if relocated to Bridgwater, would be to the Demise of some of the existing Proprietor traders???? What, I believe is that we should Dreate " Niche Shopping" in the High- Fore and Eastover Retail Shops, Selling Unique Products, Quality, not Tacky, Chinese Produced throwaway Products... Creation of a retail area, that was Equivellent to Wedmore, Cheltenham, Bath, Clifton, Bristol..Only then will it be an Experience to " ShopinBridgwater " Eastover, has the Potential to re-establish this Niche -area as I propose, but the Balances are Paramount, because, Who and Where Do the Finances Come From ???? The Hospital Site, will surely be Scheduled for Housing to Maximise the Sites Value, to pay back the Cost towards the New Hospital. @ Bower Lane. My Estimation for Redeveloping Eastover Retail, in the Region of £ 40-45 Million Pounds. Both sides, all outlets Independantly owned, no Developer is able or willing to invest in a Town of our Size, if we were a City, with the Population in Excess of 150.000 residents Plus the Pulling in from Surrounding 10-15 mile Radius, it's a different Scenario. David L Preece Blue- Owl Ps. wake Up Bridgeoldboy, I have Posted A Personal Comment, for you to Chastise Me !!!!! Blue Owl
  • Score: -4

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