Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage

Document Section 1. North Somerset Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Document Employment Q33. Do you agree that the delivery of employment and employment premises remain important to Weston-super-Mare? [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 1019521//8
Respondent GVA Grimley [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 07 Dec 2018
Comment

St Modwen acknowledges the importance of aspiring to deliver employment led development in the Town. However the challenging market reality must be fully acknowledged in planning policy given the extent of potential employment sites and the reasonably low level of occupier interest. As one of the largest commercial developers in the UK St Modwen know from experience (nationally as well as locally) that speculative development only works in limited circumstances. Therefore the focus needs to be on creating the right environment to attract occupiers, whether that be through marketing and branding or providing serviced sites.

We wish to comment on the approach of the Employment Land Review - ELR (summarised on pages 70 and 71) and the specific assumption (confirmed on page 71 of the Issues and Options document) that the current employment allocations would be maintained and rolled forward into the Local Plan taking into account findings from the ELR. St Modwen remains concerned that the Atkins ELR has not undertaken a robust analysis of the site to understand why the site remains undeveloped despite previous allocations and planning permissions. The listed constraints (page 79 of the ELR) give no considerations to the significant land surcharging and drainage requirements to bring the site forward. Furthermore there was no dialogue with St Modwen seeking to understand their position as landowner and developer.

St Modwen has attempted to demonstrate to the Council through application submission that the land West of Kenn Road will not be delivered for employment development given the lack of strategic occupier demand which is required to open the site up for development. St Modwen has therefore presented a mixed use approach to development to facilitate any form of employment development in this location and we would want the Local Plan to consider such an approach to facilitate employment sites that are not being delivered.

 

Summary
Acknowledge importance of aspiring to deliver employment led development in WsM, however challenging market reality must be acknowledged.
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