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120710 Letter Re Station Farm to Taunton Deane

120710 Letter Re Station Farm to Taunton Deane

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Published by Mike Rigby

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Published by: Mike Rigby on Sep 07, 2012
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09/07/2012

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Mike Rigby
Bourne House,High Street,Bishops LydeardTauntonTA4 3AXmike.rigby@originalcarbon.com
10th July 2012Mr A Pick,Planning DepartmentTaunton Deane Borough CouncilBelvedere RoadTAUNTONTA1 1HEDear Mr Pick,
06/12/0007
 –
ERECTION OF 3 DWELLINGS AT STATION FARM, BISHOPS LYDEARD
I am writing in response to
Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s
(GTH) letter dated 17
th
January 2012 but onlyrecently posted on the Taunton Deane website. I have three principal comments to make in thelight of its contents.Firstly, there seems to be a fixation with the development of 
offices
. While the land may currentlybenefit from a B1 Office planning permission, there are many other types of employment land thatwould prove to be more viable options than office space. One needs only to look across the tracksto Broadgauge Business Park for an example of the type of employment space that has provenextremely popular. I understand that Broadgauge is currently at 100% occupancy and has operated
at or close to such in an economy that GTH describes in its letter as in ‘poor health’. Before seeking
planning permission for housing, the applicant should examine other employment options and, as I
say, they wouldn’t have to look far for examples of what works in this area.
 
Secondly, even if we were to accept GTH’s assertion that there is no market for office space in this
area and in these market conditions, that does not automatically mean that an alternative use oughtto be sought or permitted. Market conditions will inevitably improve at some point and we shouldbe set to capitalise on this with a ready supply of employment land.Finally, I understand that the applicant is attempting to buy its way out of the economic benefit thatthis employment land would bring to the local economy through the making of a financial payment.Given the size of the permitted office space, 4,520
sq ft and the UK Government’s recommended
occupancy rate (110 sq per person), it is reasonable to assume that the permitted office space couldaccommodate around 41 staff. At the UK average salary of £26,871, that would equate to acontribution to the economy of over £1million, a fair chunk of which would be spent locally. It is in
that context against which any ‘buy
-
out’ ought to be judged.
 

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