The status of the project
The Somer Valley Enterprise Zone (SVEZ) was established in April 2017, to support existing businesses and to attract new businesses to the area.
To deliver the outcomes we expect of SVEZ, in 2020 we commissioned a multi-disciplinary team to prepare the draft documents for the LDO. This team comprises a range of experts: architects, planners, and technical specialists, such as transport planners, highway engineers, ecologists, environmental experts, and a heritage consultant, amongst others.
The evolving design process
The SVEZ scheme has evolved throughout the course of the project. The specialists working on the project have provided feedback at regular internal Design Team meetings. We have also had discussions with a key stakeholder group, comprising local ward and parish council members, to shape the design of the scheme.
Public engagement and consultation
The first public engagement process, in May and June 2022, fed into the scheme design, to help achieve the various aims of the project. Read the feedback report on this process.
The statutory Local Development Order consultation, in January and February 2023, will allow for comment on the proposed LDO and supporting documents.
In addition to public engagement and formal consultation, we have incorporated expert advice in our plans and design scheme.
- Pre-application planning process: February 2021 to present
We continue to have extensive engagement on the SVEZ proposals with a range of local B&NES Council Officers, such as Planners, Ecology, Heritage, Transport and Landscape. These aim to ensure that we are able to anticipate evolving changes in regulations and policy, and take account of these in our Project Masterplan.
- Design Review: April 2021
There was an independent review of SVEZ project plans by the South West Design Review Panel
The technical consultations of the last year have had a substantial impact on our vision for SVEZ, in the following areas:
- Climate and sustainability
The project plans have developed a greater emphasis on sustainability, biodiversity net gain, and greenspace accessibility.
- Holistic design approach
It's an important objective to ensure the site is distinctive. Important factors in the design include placemaking, connectivity and how we can orientate the scheme around the people who will use it.
- The scheme in its context
As the proposal has evolved, we have developed the idea of creating 'a business park within a park,’ with an enhanced landscape setting, within the wider rural context of the site.
- Scheme design
We have developed the scheme masterplan further following the first public engagement, to take into account comments on the height of buildings, the overall design and proposed green space. Read the engagement feedback report.