£400m development gets green light

PUBLISHED: 09:06 13 December 2010

This artist's impressions shows what houses in the new 100-home development at the former RAF Locking could look like.

This artist's impressions shows what houses in the new 100-home development at the former RAF Locking could look like.

Archant

A £400MILLION building project which will see 1,500 homes and 2,000 jobs created on the outskirts of Weston has been given a formal green light.

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and developer St Modwen this week put pen to paper on a deal for building to begin at the 200-acre former RAF Locking site.

Over the next 20 years, the newly-named Locking Parklands site will become home to huge residential and commercial development, with 450,000 sq ft of ‘business space’ and a 30,000 sq ft ‘innovation centre’ included in the blueprints.

And the agreement signed this week means work on the first phase will begin in the spring, with an initial 100 homes and 6,000 sq ft of office space due to be completed by 2013.

St Modwen’s South West regional director Rupert Joseland said: “Signing this agreement signals the start of work on the site which will be transformed into a high quality business and residential community within the next 20 years.

“In the current climate, we are delighted to have secured funding to progress this important scheme and are working closely with the HCA to create a vibrant, sustainable mixed-use community with a library, schools and leisure facilities to benefit the wider community for years to come.”

Progress has been a long time coming, with site development planned as long ago as 2002 when the South West Regional Development Agency took on the site from the Ministry of Defence.

However, it changed hands again earlier this year when it transferred to the HCA, and it has since invested £2.5million in putting together the deal with St Modwen.

And the HCA’s regional head David Warburton added: “It’s great news that work to transform Locking Parklands is set to start after Christmas, and a testament to the work that has been put in by the partners to reach this stage.

“Locking Parklands is a key priority for us and our local partners, because of the wide range of benefits it delivers, including new homes, job opportunities and space for businesses.

“It is fantastic news, for the local area and wider economy too, that work will now start to deliver these benefits.

“I am really pleased that we have been able to finalise the agreement to allow work to start on this site. I am sure local people will welcome this positive news for Locking Parklands too.”

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