Gravity’s latest community webinar set out how the project to create the UK’s first smart campus will be a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver a sustainable, employment-led community, placing Sedgemoor at the very heart of the country’s green economic recovery.
The webinar was an opportunity for people to find out more about the project and ask questions directly of the Gravity team. It covered the same content to compliment Gravity’s in-person drop-in community events held at the 37 Club on 19 and 23 June.
Director of Planning and Economic Development at Gravity, Claire Pearce started the session by explaining how Gravity would act as a catalyst for change and innovation in the region by providing a sustainable platform for national and international investment.
She detailed Gravity’s vision to be a beacon of clean (zero-carbon) growth that delivers local benefits, including 4,000+ new high-quality jobs and new training opportunities driven by a new era of advanced manufacturing facilities. Claire outlined how Gravity would be ‘an exceptional place’ that integrates work, homes, leisure and green space, supported by a sustainable transport system and smart technology.
Frazer Osment, Chair of LDA Design, discussed Gravity’s Design Guide and landscape strategy in more depth. He described a potential range of campus facilities to support the core commercial advanced manufacturing uses, including leisure and sports facilities, nurseries and café/ restaurants geared towards meeting the needs of the campus community as well as community amenities. Frazer underlined how these facilities would help attract high quality occupiers and be brought forward in ways to allow Gravity to bring the greatest social and economic benefits to Sedgemoor while respecting the local environment.
Finally, Jane Hirst, Planning Director at Stantec, talked about how Gravity would be delivered. She said the Gravity team intended to set out their updated proposals for the project in a Local Development Order (LDO), which is a form of planning permission that establishes overall standards and guidelines for a development.
Jane said an LDO would be progressed over the summer and then submitted to Sedgemoor District Council which would then consult communities and other stakeholders before considering it at the end of this year.
Jane also discussed how vital infrastructure, including a link road to connect Gravity to the A39, was being put in place now to bring the project forward as a viable commercial destination that is attractive to international investment.
‘Gravity: community information, which took place on 24 June 2021, was the fifth in a series of virtual public webinars about Gravity to be held throughout 2021 and is available in full as a recording. Each of these events concludes with a question and answer session and is part of an extensive process of engagement and consultation that aims to ensure that what is proposed for Gravity creates benefits for the local area and its communities.
Members of the public are invited to stay up to date by signing-up for Gravity’s e-newsletter by contacting email@example.com or calling 0330 1070 535.