Food Enterprise Zone

North Somerset has been selected, by DEFRA, as a Food Enterprise Zone (FEZ). Essentially this is a Local Development Order (LDO), currently out for consultation, that will  create a simplified planning process for the site. A key focus of the LDO will be to show how a FEZ can be used to help improve the food supply chain, in this instance across the South West. The aim is to link farmers and producers at the very start of the food chain to food development and manufacturing but also encouraging vital links to distributors and retailers. This will not only bring increased sustainability to the food supply chain process, but will also attract new business to the area, create new jobs and increase economic activity. Currently there are no purpose built food-grade units in North Somerset or the wider region which is preventing businesses from growing and the area from attracting new food and drink related business.

The 10 acre site that has been identified for the LDO forms part of a 35 acre employment site within Weston Business Quarter, which also forms part of Junction 21 Enterprise Area (J21EA) for commercial development. North Somerset already has a strong food and drink sector, but it is anticipated that the creation of the LDO will create a significant opportunity to attract and develop a cluster of food and drink businesses at Junction 21 Enterprise Area (J21 EA) due to its excellent accessibility to the motorway network, Bristol Port and Airport.

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The Food WorksSW, Food and Drink Innovation Centre will sit within Zone 1 of the LDO and adjacent Zone 2 will over time provide essential grow on space for food and drink businesses. This will enable the area to attract larger business looking for more sizeable premises and support smaller companies that have initially been based at FoodWorks to grow and move to larger premises on the same site - retaining their local workforce.

The development of this additional dedicated food and drink ‘grow on’ and development space will support a vital clustering of opportunities for food and drink manufacturers, but also related business including research, development, manufacturing, packaging and logistics in one dedicated area. Together these initiatives will help to develop a solid local infrastructure in North Somerset that will serve the South West.

LDO Consultation

The LDO will effectively grant outline planning permission for the erection of buildings and the use of the land identified for food businesses within specific planning use classes.

We consulted on an original draft back in 2016. Comments on that version have been considered, and changes have been made to the documents where appropriate.

The LDO was adopted by the Council in June 2018.

If you require any further information on this consultation please contact the Planning Policy Team on 01934 426665 or by email at planning.policy@n-somerset.gov.uk