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Gravity Local Development Order

Tuesday 4th January, 2022

Sedgemoor District Council’s meeting of Full Council on Wednesday, 22nd December resolved to accept a Local Development Order for Gravity Enterprise Zone at the former Royal Ordnance Factory at Puriton.

The Gravity Local Development Order will be a positive planning tool used to support investment, widespread growth and prosperity to the local area and will deliver significant numbers of high quality, skilled jobs.  Just over 60 comments were received from the formal consultation which took place between 9th November and December 9th, which included community drop-in sessions and public meetings with Puriton and Woolavington Parish Councils. The Council report highlighted a number of areas where modifications have been proposed to positively respond to matters raised through consultation, including additional technical matters as well increased opportunity for community engagement in the delivery of the LDO.

The formal consultation followed more than a year of engagement with the local community and businesses by Gravity about the proposals in the Local Development Order. This sets high level parameters under which development proposals are effectively granted planning permission provided they accord with the requirements of the Local Development Order. The range of permitted development and uses set out in the Local Development Order include large scale advanced manufacturing, commercial and business use and supporting service, community, recreational and residential uses to assist in the creation of the Gravity smart campus.

The vision is for Gravity to be a smart campus and community that will create between 4,000 and 7,500 jobs, driving the UK’s shift towards a zero-carbon economy, and placing Sedgemoor at the very centre of the ‘clean’ growth revolution.

The Council resolved to adopt the LDO subject to finalising matters in relation to the preparation of a legal agreement, minor technical and drafting changes and further discussions regarding heritage impact with Historic England.

Supported by the Local Development Order, Gravity is aiming to provide:

  • Thousands of new jobs in high value industries – advanced manufacturing- including electric vehicles and or battery manufacturing, smart technology, robotics, data, energy and other highly skilled sectors.
  • A Skills Charter to link local people to training and job opportunities.
  • A Business Charter to help local businesses respond to supply chain opportunities.
  • Homes to encourage our young people to stay, train and work locally.
  • Improved bus services, walking and cycling connections and potential new passenger rail and freight links to benefit Puriton, Woolavington and the wider region.
  • New leisure and open spaces to support health and wellbeing.
  • Continued work with local schools and education providers to build resilience, create training opportunities and inspire new careers.
  • New and improved infrastructure for transport, energy digital connectivity and utilities.

For full details of the Local Development Order – click on the link below.

www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/GravityLDO

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