Plans for Gravity – a smart campus near Bridgwater, at the heart of the South West – have taken a major step forward.
Sedgemoor District Council has passed a resolution to adopt a Local Development Order (LDO) for Gravity Smart Campus, subject to the signing of a section 106 agreement. LDA Design developed the concept for the LDO and design guide.
The Council passed the resolution in December 2021 and agreement is imminently due to be completed. Providing final requirements are met, planning permission will have been effectively secured.
On the site of a former Royal Ordnance Factory, Gravity has been designed to accommodate large-scale, international, leading-edge businesses in, for example, automotive and battery manufacturing, and advanced engineering. This is critical to enable the UK to transition into clean growth sectors and restructure the economy to be future facing.
Remediation of the 616-acre site was completed in 2020. The site is now ready to provide the flexible base new businesses need, set within a biodiverse and accessible landscape. With wellbeing a major driver, the site will include all of the facilities necessary to attract and support a modern working community including hotels, accommodation, fitness centres, a nursery and cafes, subject to occupier needs.
Gravity benefits from being located on the UK’s national rail and motorway network. It is in close proximity to Bristol Port and Airport and has dark fibre already in place with a test bed on 5G underway. A new link road is open creating access onto Junction 23 of the M5.
The council decision follows a year-long process of project development led by Gravity, with LDA working alongside lead consultant Stantec as part of a multi-disciplinary team, engaging with stakeholders, neighbouring communities and businesses.
Frazer Osment, LDA Design Chair and project lead for Gravity, sees the project as a major benefit for South-West England. “Gravity will deliver high-value green jobs in a post-COP26 UK looking to lead the world in climate-conscious design and industry. It will also promote a healthier way to work with wellbeing prioritised, creating a collaborative culture and supporting excellent productivity.”
The campus will support local growth, inward investment and job creation upwards of 7,500 people. Training will link to nearby Bridgwater College, schools and connecting universities to create a pipeline of talent to meet occupier needs. It will also promote a business charter to help local firms respond to supply chain opportunities.
Click here for more on Gravity Smart Campus.