Derelict buildings at 'untidy' site could be demolished for new Shepton Mallet car park

A derelict building and an "untidy" site in Shepton Mallet could be finally demolished to pave way for a new car park. 14 Commercial Road was formerly the home of a cafe, as well as a garage and vehicle workshop before both businesses closed their doors many years ago.

The backland that once contained buildings is now disused land that is level laid to clean crushed stone. The land off Commercial Road has been a sore topic across the town, with many residents keen to see the site completely redeveloped.

Its new owner, local property developer Pat Bridgeman, has now applied to Somerset Council to demolish the site and create a new car park. A design and access statement acknowledges part of the site “remains untidy and in a derelict state and a short to medium term solution is required in order to improve the site both aesthetically and functionally along this key route into the town centre.”

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Mr Bridgeman wants to demolish the frontage buildings and create up to 55 car parking bays, including some disabled parking spaces. The car park will link with existing pedestrian access to the High Street, with some new hard surfacing and permeable paving.

He adds a new car park would assist businesses and the “viability of the town centre” as well as support customers and neighbouring residents. The applicant remarks clearing the derelict building and overgrown vegetation would improve the view on a key route through Shepton Mallet.

Redevelopment of the site has been disrupted over the years due to the land being under many different owners. A car park is seen as a short-term to medium-term option before any future redevelopment.

Its new owner, local property developer Pat Bridgeman, wants to clear the site and build up to 55 parking bays. -Credit:Google/Wright Consult Ltd
Its new owner, local property developer Pat Bridgeman, wants to clear the site and build up to 55 parking bays. -Credit:Google/Wright Consult Ltd

The application written by Wright Consult Ltd states: “The proposed new car parking area is considered to present a cost-effective and practical short to medium-term solution in dealing with this site, in lieu of any future scheme for wider redevelopment that is aspired to by the applicant and many of the town’s stakeholders. The scheme presents a significant improvement to the site as viewed from the public domain of Commercial Road, as well as from a number of other public vistas, whilst having an equally positive impact on the Conservation Area.”

You can view the plans on Somerset Council’s planning portal under reference 2024/0753/FUL or through this link.