MINEHEAD Town Council faces a crunch meeting on the new community building and football clubhouse as it emerged the project's costs have risen 'significantly'.

At full council on Tuesday night, responsible financial officer Andy Giles told councillors a series of issues had arisen and said it was a 'fairly crucial time in the life of this project'.

A new report had been produced which showed the costings for the new building had gone up in light of inflation, and because of changes to the plans to include council offices.

Mr Giles outlined issues that had surfaced for the new building at Irnham Road Recreation Ground including rising costs, ongoing negotiations with the Luttrells regarding a covenant on the land, discussions with West Somerset Council regarding the use of the car park, and that an asbestos survey was needed.

Town Clerk Brian Howe added: "It is a lot of money. The funding from external bodies has already been agreed, so the shortfall will need to be made up by the town council."

Mr Howe said the council could still potentially pull out of the project, but that would have significant costs too at this stage.

The council was asked to approve a recommendation from its finance committee to seek approval from the government to potentially borrow £300,000 from the Public Works Loan Board for the project.

Cllr Gary Miele proposed that in light of the increase in costs it would be prudent to move that figure up to £500,000.

Andy Giles emphasised this was part of the process to seek permission from the Public Loans Board and was not a final decision to borrow the money.

Town mayor Cllr Norman Hercock proposed the council should have a private meeting in the coming days to fully discuss the issues rather than rushing through them at full council.

Cllr Jean Parbrook argued the council had already agreed to go ahead with the community building, but Mr Giles said in light of the rising costs and changes to the project it would be sensible to have further discussion.

Cllr Parbrook said: "We are using a lot of time talking about these issues.

"A lot of effort was put in the get the funding, and we are taking the risk of jeopardising that with all this procrastination."

Cllr Parbrook's motion to appoint the contractor for the building on the night was defeated by eight votes to seven.

During the item there were a number of comments from disgruntled residents interrupting to proceedings to make their feelings known arguing more consultation was needed and criticising the council's use of money.

The council also agreed not to support a request from Minehead Coastal Communities Team to back an application for between £60,000 and £80,000 of Section 106 money for a new children's play area on The Esplanade near Butlins saying it was 'not one of the council's priorities'.