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Somer Valley Enterprise Zone: first public engagement

Businesses: what this means for you

The Somer Valley Enterprise Zone represents a major opportunity for businesses to invest in our area, either relocating from elsewhere, or extending their presence to an attractive new site.

Increased employment opportunities

In the Somer Valley, there is a low vacancy rate in commercial buildings, and this lack of available business space is constraining business and employment growth. The B&NES Economic Strategy Review (2014 to 2030) recognises the 'urgent need' to encourage new employment land development in the Somer Valley. 

The SVEZ project presents an exciting new local employment offer, with a variety of jobs matching the varied skills and experience of the local labour market. The scheme should deliver around 40,000 sqm of new commercial floorspace, which will cover a wide range of uses, to suit a variety of types of business:

  • industrial, warehousing, and distribution
  • office and flexible workspace
  • light industry and workshops
  • trade counter distribution
  • complimentary uses, such as hotel, café, pub or restaurant

High quality site and sustainable infrastructure 

The site will come serviced with an access road and junction, utilities and drainage provision and attractive structural landscaping.

Sustainability is at the heart of the plans for SVEZ. The site has been designed so that it meets national and local Planning requirements in terms of addressing the Climate and Ecology emergencies:

  • Plans achieve Biodiversity Net Gain targets.
  • The scheme will be a Net Zero Carbon development.

The SVEZ site is also designed with significant green infrastructure, walking and cycling provision and attractive landscaping. The aim is to create a 'business park within a park', to reflect the rural nature of the site and area. This should help to attract and retain employees.

Reducing 'out-commuting'

Currently a large number of skilled local people need to travel towards Bristol, Bath and other urban centres to find suitable employment. The new jobs offered by the SVEZ development will reduce the need for this out-commuting, offering a wide range of benefits:

  • reducing carbon emissions
  • providing a complimentary range of uses including services for the local economy
  • reducing congestion on the region's roads
  • promoting active travel for the shorter journey to work
  • increasing leisure time previously spent commuting
  • increasing workday lunchtime and leisure spend with local businesses

Control and flexibility for occupiers

We are working on parameters for our proposals for an LDO for the scheme, and this public engagement process is your opportunity to feed into this work.

If adopted, the LDO will outline the parameters for:

  • maximum building heights and developable footprint
  • a targeted range of uses on specific plots
  • a Design Guide that will help to ensure SVEZ is an attractive and distinctive place
  • strategic landscaping
  • access to the site

Within the LDO parameters there will remain flexibility so that buildings can be designed to meet the specific needs of individual businesses.