Welcome to the first round of public engagement relating to plans in development for the Somer Valley Enterprise Zone (SVEZ).
Wider council policy background
Our Corporate Strategy, adopted in 2020, is our overarching strategic plan. Plans to introduce new local hubs for business and economic development align with two of our most important commitments as a council:
- To prepare for the future
- To deliver for local residents
Sharing our plans with the public, both through informal engagement and more formal public consultation, is part of our core policy of giving people a bigger say in council decisions.
Our One Shared Vision framework, published in June 2021, sets out our vision for fairer, greener, more creative and connected communities. It embodies the inclusion and environmental commitments from our Corporate Strategy, focusing on economic and social renewal, as we recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The document records research done with local stakeholders to establish our shared ambitions, and proposes a new vision for a stronger, low carbon, more inclusive and diverse local economy.
The B&NES Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan, our most important local Planning policy document, includes sites that we have identified as suitable for different types of development needed in our area, to meet local needs such as housing, employment and economic growth. This includes land which we have allocated for development on two separate sites in Bath and Paulton, together known as the Bath and Somer Valley Enterprise Zone.
Local context and project drivers
We have identified the Somer Valley as an area with strong potential for future economic growth. The SVEZ scheme, sited on the northwest edge of Midsomer Norton, will work together with ambitious plans to update and improve the town centre.
This site, which is on the edge of Midsomer Norton, gained ‘Enterprise Zone’ (EZ) status from the Government in April 2017. EZ status demonstrates support for development in a variety of forms:
- New job creation to help reduce out-commuting
- Business space provision
- A more general contribution towards local economic growth
- Improvements to transport and travel provision to serve the new zone and surrounding community, and to reflect our wider policies to address the Climate Emergency
This public engagement
For the SVEZ project, this public engagement process provides an opportunity for the community to hear from the design team on work done so far, to review the current plans and to provide comments and feedback. This early engagement will be followed by a formal consultation which we will hold once the Local Development Order has been submitted. Find out more about the aims and evolution of the project on our Scheme overview page.