Meeting documents

TDBC Executive
Wednesday, 28th November, 2018 6.15 pm

If there are no documents available for this meeting, please click on Attendance details, as the meeting may have been cancelled.

Decision details

Review into Affordable Employment Land Task and Finish Group. Report of The Task and Finish Group (attached)

Decision Maker: Executive

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Review into Affordable Employment Land Task and Finish Group


Considered report previously circulated, which set out the findings of the Task and Finish Group charged to review Taunton Deane Borough Council’s (TDBC) 2009 Affordable Employment Land Strategy, agreed by the then TDBC Executive. There was no doubt that TDBC needed to create an appropriate balance between the number of homes and the number of jobs provided. Taunton Deane was falling behind neighbouring conurbations in providing well-paid employment. The Council must work in meaningful partnership to facilitate inward investment and encourage economic growth. The cross-party approach to working together on this investigation was praised and the energy of the Councillors to completing the work and there was a general desire to keep the momentum on this.


During the discussion of this item, Members made comments and statements and asked questions which included:-


·         The report was welcomed and the Peter Brett report that had been commissioned into Employment Land demonstrated a shared commitment to improvement in this area.

·         It was helpful for Peter Brett to report their emerging findings from their work to the Task and Finish. Work was also being undertaken in Strategy and this helped inform the Task and Finish Group’s deliberations and research.

·         The evidence from the Peter Brett report demonstrated employment was low but productivity also lagged, and this was something that would need to be tackled under the Prosperity Area and there was a Lead Prosperity role that would be vital to its success. Any jobs that are created needed to be higher quality skilled and it was recognised this work needed to be accelerated.

·         It was recognised that work needed to be done in advance of the Local Plan Review to look at Employment Land and what was realistically deliverable.

·         The Council was committed to a pilot project being run by the University of Exeter Centre for Circular Economy which was a positive development brought about by the engagement of Councillor Farbahi.

·         The Garden Town Status of Taunton also was recognised as offering opportunities for the Council in this area, with the Department for International Trade and those areas looking to transformational development and the investment opportunities from abroad.

·         The work of the Task and Finish Group so far had cost the taxpayer little, and the value was considered in bringing these outstanding individuals and organisations through an Integrated Project Delivery concept to add value in the emerging industries such as The Centre for Circular Economy.

·         A Research and Innovation Centre would be resource intensive and would need a sound business case to be developed.

·         It was recognised that a lot of work had been undertaken into the Research and Innovation Centre opportunity that existed but concerns were raised around deliverability and the proposals already on the table being worked up on the Digital Geospatial and Innovation Centre which had been backed by the Government, which also had involvement from local Universities.

·         There was some discussion around the use of Local Development Order’s that were criteria based rather than location.


Resolved that the Executive noted the Task and Finish Group’s Report and recommended the following:-

1)    Affordable Employment Land:

a)    TDBC and the subsequent Council must build on the Affordable Employment Land Report undertaken by Peter Brett Associates by commencing an urgent reappraisal of all employment sites;

b)    TDBC and the subsequent Council to explore the delivery of Affordable Starter Employment Units via different delivery models including varying forms of Local Development Orders, and expedient Council enabling through a standalone approach or development partner involvement.

2)    Investigate the feasibility of an office for the creation of a Research and Innovation Centre:

a)    TDBC and the subsequent Council should undertake a prompt detailed feasibility study into the viability of such a centre. Effective use of appropriate partnership working was crucial to the success of such a venture.


Publication date: 28/11/2018

Date of decision: 28/11/2018

Decided at meeting: 28/11/2018 - Executive

Accompanying Documents: