20 December 2017
TAUNTON – A Local Development Order (LDO) to deliver the Nexus 25 strategic employment site in Taunton, has been approved by Taunton Deane Borough Council (TDBC).
The approval ensures the timely delivery of this strategically important site which will encourage business and create new jobs while contributing to TDBC’s ambitious growth plans for Taunton. Access to the site will be provided following completion of the Somerset County Council M5 (Junction 25) improvement scheme.
The LDO has been prepared by Peter Brett Associates (PBA) and LHC Design on behalf of TDBC. The documents set out the planning and design principles and other site-specific requirements which will guide the development of the Nexus 25 site.
Nexus 25 will provide a range of flexible premises providing accommodation for research and development, health, education, and digital technology alongside high quality office space, light industrial units and warehouses. Designed as a ‘Green Campus,’ the site will include walkways and landscaping to create an environment in line with Taunton’s new Garden Town status.
The plans for Nexus 25 were unveiled in March this year and this was followed by an informal consultation and a subsequent statutory consultation where residents and other stakeholders were invited to comment on the LDO. The Council took account of all responses received and, after meeting to discuss the plans for Nexus 25, voted to approve plans to adopt the LDO.
LDOs were introduced by the Government to enable Local Planning Authorities to speed up the implementation of planned developments, while ensuring that all the usual environmental safeguards are applied.
Now approved, the LDO will set out the extent and nature of the proposed development together with all the criteria and requirements that proposals must meet to satisfy the terms of the Order. Developers must demonstrate to the Council that their proposals satisfy the requirements of the LDO in order for them to proceed.
Mary Crew, PBA Associate, commented:
“The approval of the LDO is a positive step for Taunton and for the planning process as a whole. LDO’s are a significant move towards simplifying the planning process, creating a more certain planning environment which is attractive to investors. LDO’s, as seen here with the development of the Nexus 25 site, can secure positive growth for an area while retaining all the environmental protections provided by traditional planning permissions.”
The proposals for Nexus 25 have been developed by a team drawn from the public and private sectors. Key partners include Taunton Deane Borough Council, Somerset County Council, the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, Highways England, the Environment Agency, Summerfield Developments and Henry Boot Developments.