Start of massive investment in Weston
By Prue_Reid | Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 13:18
Work to create a major new roundabout that will form part of a road opening up thousands of jobs and homes in Weston-super-Mare has begun.
The roundabout is the first stage of the Cross Airfield Link (CAL).
This will become a key strategic route linking the A371 at Locking Moor Road with Winterstoke Road and is a milestone in the progress of Junction 21 Enterprise Area as a major employment destination.
Persimmon Homes are building the CAL which will take around five years to fully complete.
Hwever, the roundabout is likely to be finished within nine months and will be the access point for the redevelopment of the old airfield site.
These initial road works will then open up the first phase of the 17 hectare Weston Business Quarter development on the airfield site.
This will provide serviced plots for offices and other employment, including the North Somerset Enterprise Agency (NSEA) 20,000 sq ft managed workspace scheme called 'The Hive' and other approved developments such as a hotel and pub.
NSEA's business centre will open early 2014 to support small businesses and allow them to start-up and grow by providing flexible office space with short term leases and expandable space.
The Hive business centre, which is designed to be energy-efficient and sustainable, will be let to around 40-60 different tenants on a short term basis.
It's expected that the Business Quarter will provide up to 4,000 jobs.
Later stages of Weston Airfield development will include 900 homes which already have planning permission - up to 270 of these will be affordable homes, although some of these will be reliant on securing grant funding.
When the site as a whole is built out it is expected that it will accommodate up to 2,400 homes in total, along with two new primary schools and a range of community facilities. Persimmon Homes are the developers for the site.
North Somerset Council leader Nigel Ashton welcomed work beginning.
He said: "This is a major step forward for the delivery of jobs and growth in the Junction 21 Enterprise Area at Weston-super-Mare.
"The opening up of the airfield, initially by ensuring the road infrastructure is in place, demonstrates that we are delivering employment-led regeneration in the area.
"Whereas other sites across the country may have stalled, here in North Somerset we are forging ahead."
Persimmon Homes special projects managing director Richard Briggs said: "We are delighted to be making a start on this site, which marks a significant commitment by our company to the delivery of jobs and homes in Weston.
"We look forward to continued joint working with North Somerset Council and its partners to make a success of the Junction 21 Enterprise Area."
North Somerset Enterprise Agency chief executive Angela Hicks said: "This announcement is excellent news for the business and local community.
"It brings the building of The Hive one step closer, which will be a huge leap towards start-up and small businesses having the advice, support and facilities on hand that they need to grow and create new jobs in the area."
North Somerset Council is working with the developer to minimise the impact of the roundabout works on road users and a minimum of two lanes for traffic will remain open at all times.
More information about the key sites and developments coming forward in the Junction 21 Enterprise Area can be found on the North Somerset business-focused inward investment website by clicking HERE.