NEW businesses could soon set up shop in Crewkerne after plans for new employment units near a major housing development were approved.

Conrad Energy (Developments) II Ltd. applied to build four new units near the existing industrial estate on Blacknell Lane, opposite the town’s recycling centre.

The company intends to deliver the new units under flexible permissions – meaning their usage can be changed to meet the responsive needs of the companies which will ultimately occupy them.

South Somerset District Council has now given the green light to these proposals, which come as Taylor Wimpey Exeter moves to begin construction of the first new homes within the key site.

The employment units will be built on currently overgrown land between Blacknell Lane and the existing electricity sub-station which provides power to Crewkerne and the surrounding area.

Four units will be delivered in total, with the largest providing 25,000 sq ft of floor space and a turning area for lorries, with the other units providing between 2,500 sq ft and 4,000 sq ft of space each.

A spokesman for Adler King (representing the developer) said: “The employment proposals… are designed to complement the adjacent Crewkerne industrial area and ultimately provide an attractive location for business and commerce, as the surrounding area grows through the regeneration that will come as part of the saved and emerging allocation for mixed use development.”

The Crewkerne key site will eventually deliver 635 new homes, a 60-bed care home, new employment units and a link road connecting the A30 Yeovil Road to the A356 Station Road.

Taylor Wimpey Exeter was awarded outline permission for the key site in May 2020, with detailed plans for the first 110 homes being approved in January 2021.

As part of this first phase of the key site development, Taylor Wimpey will deliver a new link road which will connect Blacknell Lane to the A356 Station Road, existing residents of the new homes to access the employment site without taking the long way around.

The developer has not confirmed any of the potential occupants of the units, but said the use of the new buildings needed to be kept as flexible as possible.

Detailed plans covering the precise design and layout of the new units are expected to be submitted to the council for consideration in early-2022.