As part of the Economic Development Strategy for Mendip, which was approved by the council in 2013, Mendip District Council designated the Bath and West Showground near Shepton Mallet as an Enterprise Area. This Enterprise Area aims to attract new business investment and growth into Mendip. In order to achieve the competitive edge and draw businesses into the district a proposal is being put forward to create a Local Development Order (LDO) for an 8.2hectare part of the site.
LDO’s were introduced through the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and will in effect, grant full planning permission in advance for the specific type of development detailed in the order. This will therefore remove the need for a planning application to submitted by the developer or occupier, allowing development to proceed without further delay.
The proposed LDO will be in effect for 5 years from adoption, although it can be revoked at any time by Mendip District Council acting as the Local Planning Authority.
The business uses which will be consented by the proposed LDO include office, research and development, light and general industrial and storage and distribution (Use classes B1, B2 and B8). To help reduce impact on local residents the area closest to Prestleigh will be restricted to office, research and development and light industry (Use Class B1).
Tom Killen, Portfolio Holder for Business Development said; “As a council we have identified business support as a priority in Mendip and are always keen to find new ways to support business growth. The Enterprise Area, proposed LDO and our work with local Chambers of Commerce is certainly helping us to achieve that priority and will go a long way to encourage businesses into Mendip. We are keen to adopt innovative solutions to help speed up business growth and I urge all interested parties to make their views known on the proposed LDO so we can get this pilot initiative underway and determine if it will help elsewhere in the district in the future
Local residents and businesses are invited to comment on the proposals during a four week consultation period running from 27th October 2014.
Matt Williams, Planning Team Manager said: “This proposed LDO is a great opportunity for us to make the most of new devolved powers from central Government and establish a positive approach to planning delivery. Mendip now have more control over the use of Business Rates and New Homes Bonus which allow us to help support and unlock these new business investment opportunities and create conditions for continued economic growth.”
Further details of the consultation are being displayed in the Shape Mendip Hub at Shepton Mallet for the duration of the consultation period and are also available on the council’s website www.mendip.gov.uk/bathandwestldo