Dorset’s enterprise zone nominated for award

A process which simplifies planning controls for a key Dorset employment site, reducing the planning process from several months to fewer than 28 days* has been shortlisted for an award.

A Local Development Order (LDO) was put in place for the Dorset Innovation Park Enterprise Zone, near Wool in late 2018. The Order provides a comprehensive range of information and site assessments, including ground conditions, ecology and drainage and other services.

It also provides an innovative Design Guide and approach to maintaining the site’s unique ecology.  This reduces the risk considerably for businesses planning to develop on the site without impacting on its unique qualities

Purbeck District Council led on the preparation of the LDO with consultants Stride Treglown. The final award winners for the Promoting Economic Growth Category will be announced at the National Placemaking Awards this summer.

Dorset Innovation Park Enterprise Zone is Dorset’s second largest strategic employment site. It is an advanced engineering and manufacturing cluster of excellence for the South West, building on strengths in marine, defence and energy technology.

Significant investment in the whole site by Purbeck District Council, Dorset County Council and Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership is providing a new opportunity for businesses by offering attractive Enterprise Zone benefits such as business rate reduction, simplified planning and full fibre broadband connectivity.

Richard Wilson, Economic Development Manager, Purbeck District Council worked closely with the consultants Stride Treglown on the LDO. He said: “I am delighted that Purbeck District Council and Stride Treglown have been nominated for this award.

“It is testament to the commitment the District Council, together with Dorset County Council, has put into making the Innovation Park a success for the benefit of our local economy.

“The LDO is a unique selling point for the site, reducing risk for developers and enabling appropriate development to proceed smoothly, thereby creating quality jobs and boosting the local economy, whilst respecting the area’s sensitive natural environment.”

After public consultation, the LDO was formally adopted by Purbeck District Council in December 2018.

Jim Stewart, Chair of Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership said: “The news that Dorset Innovation Park has been shortlisted for this national planning award is well deserved.

“The site, an advanced manufacturing centre of excellence, is becoming an increasingly important economic asset to Dorset bringing new jobs and businesses to the area.  Securing streamlined planning permission is a major pull for companies looking for employment plots to build on and a key driver in establishing Dorset Innovation Park as a vibrant, attractive and productive business location.”

Stride Treglown Director, Graham Stephens, who led the Consultant team acting for the Council and the award entry, considers the shortlisting reflects not only the importance of the project, but also the proactivity of the Council in stimulating economic growth and investment by thinking innovatively about de-risking the site and streamlining the planning process.

Graham said: “The Council’s lead, alongside Economic Regeneration partners, is a vital component of the LDO and provides a sound basis for attracting inward investment. We, and our co-consultant partners, are delighted to have played our part in helping the Council deliver its objectives and look forward to seeing detailed schemes come forward which will generate high value jobs for local people”.

*subject to complying with conditions.

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Dorset’s enterprise zone nominated for award