- Sedgemoor District Council has approved Gravity’s plans to provide safe, sustainable connections between Puriton and Woolavington
- Gravity’s plans for a farmstead of six low-carbon homes at Knowle Hill will be submitted to Sedgemoor District Council early in the new year
- Community salutes link road roundabout ‘smiley man’
- Gravity welcomes the launch of the Somerset-wide Climate Emergency Strategy, developed by the county’s five councils
- Gravity’s pioneering sustainable materials management strategy is guiding the construction of the link road
- Gravity’s chairman Martin Bellamy explains why a post-coronavirus green recovery is so important to the South West at a national webinar
- Gravity is championing its ‘smart campus’ as a UK destination for inward investment and a key flagship project in the South West with a wealth of activity, including participation in discussions hosted by the Western Gateway and Business West and overseas activity with Department for International Trade.
Welcome to Gravity’s December newsletter!
Despite the challenges we, like everyone, have faced in 2020, this has also been a year of fantastic progress for Gravity. We have been relentless in our pursuit of transforming our vision of a smart campus that offers a blueprint for a cleaner, smarter future into a reality.
Our proposals will be set out in a Local Development Order (LDO), which is simply another form of planning permission. An LDO sets overall standards and guidelines for a complex development, which helps create more certainty about what the site will offer. Our LDO proposal will evolve during 2021, including a formal public consultation.
We have also made good progress on the link road – a key access road that will link Gravity to the A39, which connects to Junction 23 of the M5. The new road is the first key step in bringing Gravity forward and will be open in the spring of 2021.
2020 has also seen us draw up our plan for a farmstead of six homes at Knowle Hill near Puriton. These high energy performance, low-carbon homes demonstrate our commitment towards creating a cleaner and more sustainable future.
We are looking forward to another year full of progress. 2021 will see us work with our partners to collaborate with, and support, Sedgemoor District Council to adopt the LDO. This will represent an important milestone, enabling us to support the government’s marketing of the Gravity Enterprise Zone to investors from across the world. Somerset will be at the heart of a green economic recovery, accelerating positive action to address climate change.
Please read on for a summary of our key news. Finally, we hope you have a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.
Your opinion counts!
2021 will be a defining year for Gravity as we start to shape the Local Development Order (LDO), which will set the overall planning guidance for the site. Your views count and we will start a formal public consultation on our proposals next year. This will continue, and build on, the open conversation that we have already established with the community with our link road and Knowle Hill projects.
Collaborating with the community is of paramount importance to us at Gravity! We were incredibly honoured to support the amazing efforts of the local community in delivering over 7,000 free meals earlier this year.
Part of our commitment to working with the community has been to enlist the support of locally based consultation experts Social. You are welcome to contact the Social team with any questions about how the consultation process will work at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0330 1070 353. Further information on how you can get involved will follow in the New Year.
Village Enhancement Scheme
Sedgemoor District Council has approved Gravity’s planning application for a ‘Village Enhancement Scheme’ to improve connections between Puriton and Woolavington. The scheme includes traffic-calming measures and a new car-free path between the two villages which also connects to the Gravity site and the 37 Club. Find out more.
Securing local jobs for local people
“A real ray of sunshine – amongst the gloom of the recent news of national redundancies” – that was a quote from Cllr Gill Slocombe, Sedgemoor’s Portfolio Holder for Inward Investment and Growth – as she endorsed a key Local Labour Agreement with Gravity.
The agreement paves the way to secure local benefit and social value by creating skills, training and employment opportunities for the Sedgemoor community. Find out more
Thank you to everyone who has told us what they think about our plan to create a new community of six, low-carbon homes at Knowle Hill, near Puriton. Working with our design partner architect Origin3, our plan re-imagines the former water filtration works at Knowle Hill as a farmstead of six high energy performance homes. We will submit a planning application to Sedgemoor District Council early in the new year. Find out more
Community salutes link road’s ‘smiley man’
Steve Bryce of contractor Alun Griffiths, who has been working on the link road roundabout, has been presented with flowers and a card by the local community for being a ‘happy and smiley’ man. Steve has been on site at the new roundabout for several months and has become well known in the locality for greeting everyone who passes by.
Link Road Update
Gravity teamed up with its link road contractor Alun Griffiths to present a webinar hosted by the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) about how the new road is being built with a focus on sustainable growth. Over 145,000 tonnes of site material has been transported from the Gravity site and reused to construct the link road. Watch Gravity’s ‘Delivering Clean Growth’ webinar for full details about our sustainable materials management strategy. We continue to hold bi-monthly drop-in sessions for people to find out more about the link road. The next session will take place in late January or early February – please check our website for more info.
Climate Emergency Strategy
Gravity welcomes the launch of the Somerset-wide Climate Emergency Strategy agreed by the county’s five councils. The strategy sets out a plan for Somerset to go carbon neutral by 2030. Details of the plan can be found here.
In a recent Real Estate Live panel event hosted by Property Week, chairman of Gravity Martin Bellamy explained why a post-coronavirus green recovery was so important to the South West. Martin commented: “The thing that’s going to have the biggest impact in the South West by a long way is the opportunities that will be afforded to the region by the necessity to transition to a green economy.” Watch the webinar
Fulfilling Gravity’s planning conditions
Gravity continues to address the planning conditions and obligations associated with the existing planning permission on the main site. This helps to make progress by improving certainty for potential occupiers. The Strategic Design Code and Strategic Landscape Masterplan have been approved earlier in the year. Documents have been submitted to the council in respect of further conditions relating to remediation, ecological management, surface water operations and management and effluent infrastructure. In total there are 11 conditions to discharge.
Gravity goes global
The Department for International Trade (DIT) presented Gravity as an investment opportunity at the Word Pensions Summit 2020, which took place virtually in October. Find out more