A CRUNCH meeting which could influence how the Gravity clean growth campus near Bridgwater could be developed is set to take place this week.

Sedgemoor District Council’s Executive committee is scheduled to meet tomorrow (Wednesday, July 15) online, to consider whether to proceed with a Local Development Order (LDO) for the Gravity site - a type of consent that makes planning permission for certain types of development easier.

The Gravity site is located at the former BAE Ordnance Factory between Puriton and Woolavington.

The aim is for Gravity to be a ‘clean growth campus’ attracting investment from the likes of electric vehicle manufacturers to robotics firms and various companies concerned with technology and sustainability.

The owners of the site This Is Gravity Ltd, say that a Local Development Order would provide ‘an agile and flexible planning process’ which would assist in the ‘marketing and securing of inward investment’ and therefore ‘accelerate delivery of the site and its tangible benefits in respect of high value job creation and securing clean and inclusive growth’.

The owners of the Gravity site are asking for a LDO as it is felt the current planning agreed is outdated and has a number of constraints that could hinder the project from realising its full potential.

In a document prepared by This Is Gravity Ltd ahead of the SDC Executive meeting, further detail is outlined on the aims of the project and how it will be delivered.

The report states that Gravity will be ‘an exemplar’ in responding to the clean growth challenge, striving to ‘accelerate the transition to a net zero carbon model for for the future’.

As such it will target industries such as advanced manufacturing, life-sciences, cyber, electric vehicles and the agri-tech.

The report also states Gravity will be ‘a testbed for innovation’ including 5G deployment.

In the document, This Is Gravity Ltd highlight how the site will create more than 4,000 jobs, and have between 500,000m2 and 1,000,000m2 of commercial space, including the potential for a ‘gigafactory’.

The campus will also have restaurants, cafes and shops as well as leisure facilities, and there are plans for approximately 1,300 homes/units including at least one hotel.

The report also highlights how Gravity mill make use of e-bikes and scooters for transport, as well as seeking to restore part of the nearby railway.

The report states that the overall project will contribute more than £1bn to the local economy.

If the proposal to go down the LDO route is approved, it is anticipated it could be ready and signed off by autumn 2021.