It was our combined dismay

PUBLISHED: 10:25 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:34 25 May 2010

THIS is a letter we sent to Councillor Nigel Ashton and we would be grateful if you would publish it.

THIS is a letter we sent to Councillor Nigel Ashton and we would be grateful if you would publish it.

Re proposed amalgamation programme and associated acquisition and disposal of property.

Weston Gateway is a joint venture between Summerfield Developments and Abbey Manor Capital Partners which have invested significantly in land in Weston to develop and deliver employment and office accommodation.

It was to our combined dismay that we read your report prepared by the head of property and asset management as part of the options considered summary concludes that 'appropriate sites for our viable development are not currently available in the local area'.

Weston Gateway Business Park at junction 21, M5, offers 14 acres of land with existing planning consent for up to 25,550 sq m (275,000 sq ft) in offices from 279 sq m (3,000 sq ft) and upwards. The necessary infrastructure for this development is now in place and Weston gateway is ready to deliver offices to meet the needs of occupiers.

Both developers in the Weston Gateway JV have a strong track record of having delivered design and build solutions to companies in the past and would welcome the opportunity of discussing the office requirement of North Somerset Council (NSC). In short, our site is deliverable and could offer NSC a total accommodation solution.

In comparison the proposed acquisition of 7,525 sq m (81,000 sq ft) at Castlewood, Clevedon, of the former Clerical Medial site fails at a number of levels:

Weston is the town in North Somerset council targeted for development in the core strategy.

Weston is the established municipal centre and there are multiple businesses which feed off this which would be negatively affected by a whole scale move of this level by the town's leading employer, NSC.

Weston already suffers from 65 per cent out-commuting (2001 Census Travel to Work Statistics). Junction 21, M5, has serious congestion issues at peak hours due to the levels of out-commuting. This will be further exacerbated by a move of NSC employees to Clevedon.

Council tax payers will be hit by the additional costs of travel subsidy/allowances paid to staff who are re-located to Clevedon - and these costs do not appear to be accounted for in the budget figures shown.

We understand that NSC is just embarking on a new comprehensive service review, it seems premature to identify a new building before this exercise is completed to inform the requirement of floor space for new offices.

Weston Gateway JV feels that it is critical that the executive and the councillors of NSC are aware of the strength of feeling in the business community and particularly by the joint venture.

Weston Gateway JV would welcome an opportunity to meet with you to discuss this most pressing matter.

BEN J TRICKEY

Senior Development Surveyor

Summerfield Developments (SW) Ltd

South Road

Taunton

JASON MILLS

Managing Director

Abbey Manor Capital partners

Preston Road

Yeovil

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