Business park could be built on old camp

OWNERS of the former RAF Locking camp plan to attract a Government department to a proposed new business park to be built on the disused base. The move, if successful, would herald a massive jobs boost for Weston, said one leading councillor. The South We

OWNERS of the former RAF Locking camp plan to attract a Government department to a proposed new business park to be built on the disused base.The move, if successful, would herald a massive jobs boost for Weston, said one leading councillor.The South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) is to lobby Government chiefs to relocate to Locking if plans for its business site are approved.SWRDA, which jointly owns the land with English Partnerships, is bidding to bring a 25-hectare business park, the equivalent of 12 football pitches, to the former RAF base.It is due to submit an outline planning application to North Somerset Council in the autumn as the first step in its plan to land the enterprise zone for the town.SWRDA has launched a marketing campaign to tempt a developer and major bodies, including the Government, to come to the area.Property adviser GVA Grimley will help SWRDA with the selection of the developer. The developer is likely to be appointed early next year with work expected to start on the scheme towards the end of 2007.The council's executive member for strategic planning, Cllr John Crockford-Hawley, said: "If this goes ahead it would be a tremendous boost to jobs in the area. It would raise the whole profile of employment in Weston and hopefully stop the huge number of people commuting to Bristol."Katharine West of the SWRDA said: "Our strategy is to develop and submit an outline planning application for business led regeneration of the former RAF Locking site by the autumn of this year. "This outline application will enable developers to come forward and then new employers to be attracted to the site."We anticipate this employment-led site to be of major interest to high growth, start-up and established businesses, as well as to future Government relocations."Development chiefs have earmarked the RAF Locking site for a mixture of up to 1,800 houses as well as businesses.


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