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Affordable Employment Local Development Order

The Small Scale Employment Space (Affordable Employment) LDO was adopted by Full Council on 29 September 2020.

This LDO is a proactive planning tool to enable increased delivery of small-scale employment space in rural parts of Somerset West and Taunton, and was developed in response to demand from small businesses to set up or expand their existing operations.

The LDO and accompanying Design Code will provide clarity on how to deliver high quality small-scale employment space appropriate to the site. It will ensure that a high and consistent standard of design is delivered, providing sustainable and stimulating working environments whilst at the same time enabling the diverse requirements of individual occupiers to be met.

The LDO sets out to grant planning permission for small scale office, research and light industrial space across the Council area removing the need for a planning application to be made. Development must accord with all aspects of the Design Code in order to benefit from the permitted development rights confirmed by the LDO.

The LDO only removes the requirement to obtain express planning permission. It does not remove the need to obtain other statutory consents. In light of the Natural England’s recent letter to SWT and the other LPA’s in Somerset about the high level of phosphate within the Somerset Levels and Moors, development proposals that fall within the prescribed criteria of the LDO may be required to submit a HRA. SWT has published advice on this issue.

LDO documents

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