|What type of uses are being proposed at Firepool?
||The scheme proposes a comprehensive mix of uses which include offices, hotel, residential development, restaurants / cafes / bars on the waterfront, cinema, moderately sized supermarket, further high quality retail units.
|Why is this mix being proposed at Firepool?
This mix of uses is being proposed for a number of reasons:
• It is consistent with the Rethink of Taunton Town Centre, approved by the Council in early 2014 following discussion with a variety of interest groups. The scheme makes the most of Taunton’s riverside location and creates strong connections between the Railway Station and the Coal Orchard and other key Town Centre sites.
• It is deliverable following detailed market testing to ensure that the final scheme is viable. The project team has sought to ensure that the scheme is designed with input from potential occupiers for the various elements to ensure that the planning permission meets their requirements while securing a sustainable regeneration of this town centre site.
• It will create jobs and boost Taunton’s economy and reputation as a regional retail, leisure, business and cultural destination
|Have any definite occupiers been secured for the main Firepool North site (the old cattle market)?
South of the River Tone, Viridor occupy the first 27,000 sq ft office HQ and 49 new homes are now under construction overlooking Pip’s Park.
North of the River Tone, St Modwen is already in advanced talks with a number of occupiers. However, the granting of a planning permission is now key to securing them within the scheme. We envisage that if planning permission is granted then further occupier discussions will accelerate as the scheme will be more deliverable.
|Does the scheme being proposed have planning permission?
No, an outline planning application was considered in August 2016, however Taunton Deane planning committee made a decision to refuse the application in line with officer’s recommendations.
Now the council, in its role as land owner is working with its development partner, St Modwen, to reflect on this decision and agree a way forward as soon as possible.
The key concerns of the planning committee, centred on layout and design, rather than the principle of development and mixed use.
There was a previous planning consent on Firepool south of the River Tone which has been partly built out for Viridor’s HQ offices and the first 49 residential homes have now been delivered.
|Is the planning application being submitted in full or outline?
The planning application is being submitted in ‘outline’ form. This sets the parameters for the site in terms of maximum level of development and uses that can take place. Following outline consent a series of ‘reserved matters’ applications are made which provide the final design detail.