PLANNING for a development that will create thousands of jobs will be speeded up under a council initiative.

Sedgemoor District Council has resolved to accept a Local Development Order for Gravity Enterprise Zone at Puriton's former Royal Ordnance Factory.

The move will be a positive planning tool to support investment, widespread growth and prosperity to the area and will deliver high quality, skilled jobs.

It follows a year's engagement with the community and businesses by Gravity and a month-long period of formal consultations, with modifications to the scheme proposed to positively respond to matters raised, including additional technical matters as well as increased opportunity for community engagement in the delivery of the LDO.

The LDO sets parameters under which development proposals are effectively granted planning permission provided they accord with the requirements of the order.

The range of permitted development and uses in the LDO 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 create between 4,000 and 7,500 jobs, driving the UK’s shift towards a zero-carbon economy, and placing Sedgemoor at the 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 LDO, 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.