PLANS for Huntspill Energy Park which will create 4,400 jobs for the Bridgwater area is another step closer after Sedgemoor District Council granted planning permission for the site this week.

Chairman of Sedgemoor District Council's development committee Cllr Bob Filmer described it as 'one of the most significant proposals received by the council'.

Last month the site just outside Puriton was sold to the Salamanca Group from BAE Systems, and an outline application for 95 hectares of 'energy-related employment uses', new footpath and cycle routes, public open space and a 'green' bridge.

There is also a new road proposed linking the A39 to the site and a storage building. Once complete it is thought the site will create more than 4,400 jobs and generate £125 million in business rates.

Cllr Bob Filmer said: “This application is one of the most significant proposals received by this council and robustly considered by members of the committee.

"The regeneration of this site is a central part of our local plan and we welcome the progress made in signing the legal agreement, enabling the issue of consent. These are critical next steps in realising the potential of this site.”

Martin Bellamy, CEO of Salamanca Group, added: “We are thrilled the council is focused on this development and we will continue to work closely together to achieve the optimal future for the site and local economy”.

BAE Systems submitted the initial application in April 2013 which followed on from the council’s allocation of the site within its adopted Core Strategy.

A Sedgemoor District Council spokesman said: "Following careful consideration, the Development Committee in November 2013 resolved to grant consent subject to the signing of a section 106 agreement to secure appropriate mitigation.

"Given the lengthy negotiations on the complex legal agreement, the application was re-assessed in respect of its environmental impact by the Development Committee in August 2017 and the original resolution endorsed."

The section 106 Agreement was signed by all parties and the decision notice issued concurrently on Tuesday.

Sedgemoor District Council is in the top quarter of planning authorities nationally and the authority says it is 'delighted to maintain an excellent track record in delivering major decisions to ensure the growth and transformation of the area, towards a higher value economy, creating opportunities and jobs for local people'.