Gravity’s latest community webinar explored how the project to create the UK’s first smart campus aims to deliver a new employment-led community, supported by smart technology and sustainable transport.
Entitled ‘Gravity: creating a smart community’, speakers at the event explained how the scheme will be brought forward in a way that creates an exceptional campus that blends work, homes, leisure and green space, helping to attract the best occupiers to the site.
Director of Planning and Economic Development at Gravity, Claire Pearce kicked off the session with an overview of Gravity’s ambition to be a beacon of clean (zero-carbon) growth and place Sedgemoor at the very heart of the country’s green economic strategy.
Claire explained that this vision means shaping Gravity as ‘an exceptional place’ that will deliver 4,000+ new high-quality jobs in clean growth sectors. She highlighted the importance of offering an integrated, smart campus in order to create the optimum conditions for investment, attracting world-class employers to the campus.
Claire said Gravity was working with industry experts, including modern housebuilder Urban Splash, to explore how to deliver sustainably designed homes as part of a jobs-led integrated campus community.
David Warburton, Land Director at House by Urban Splash, went on to give a presentation about how the housebuilder creates characterful and sustainable neighbourhoods, using innovative designs and low-carbon Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). David drew on House by Urban Splash’s recent projects, including award-winning Inholm at Northstowe, to demonstrate its knowledge, and experience, of delivering integrated community spaces.
Frazer Osment, Chair of LDA Design, discussed the leisure and community amenities that Gravity could include, such as gyms, sports facilities, nurseries and café/ restaurants. Frazer said high-quality facilities would be a vital consideration for potential, high-value occupiers, which place a premium on their workforce’s health and wellbeing.
Finally, Sam Harper, Senior Associate Planner at Stantec, discussed the challenges and opportunities of meeting the UK’s target of net-zero emissions by 2050, including the need to move away from fossil fuels and towards transport systems that harness smart technology.
A question and answer session followed the presentations. Claire Pearce explained confidential enquiries were being received from potential occupiers, and the team look forward to announcing an occupier or occupiers when they’re able to do so.
In response to a question about the number of homes that could be built as part of the jobs-led campus and community Claire confirmed that the number of homes being considered was up to 750.
‘Gravity: creating a smart community’, which took place on 26 May 2021, was the fourth in a series of virtual public webinars about Gravity to be held throughout 2021 and is available in full as a recording. These events are part of an extensive process of engagement and consultation that aim 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 calling0330 1070 535.