Fly over Somerdale

More changes are proposed in just how the paired-down blocks – that made up the Cadbury’s Factory at Somerdale in Keynsham – are going to be reused and regenerated to feed new jobs and homes into the area.

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The old Cadbury’s Factory at Somerdale in Keynsham

The following piece discusses this and also includes a chance to see drone footage – shot over the site – by a Keynsham amateur drone pilot!

In a planning application – coming before B&NES Development Committee on Wednesday, February 10th – the St Monica Trust – who have bought the three blocks – are asking to vary the number of facilities they want to offer. They want to create a Care Village with a 93 bed Care Home, 98 Extra Care apartments and communal facilities – along with space for a Doctors’ Surgery and Pharmacy.

B&NES is keen that any re-development brings extra jobs and includes usable new office space.

According to a Council officers’ report:

‘Although Keynsham enjoys a strategic location between Bristol and Bath its Green Belt location has meant that there have been few opportunities for new commercial development. This combined with the closure of the Cadbury factory and the associated impacts on local business have had a negative impact on the local economy.

Monitoring undertaken as part of the 2013 Economic Strategy Review has shown that since 2008 workplace employment had reduced by over 11%, full-time employment had reduced by 20%, employment in the B&NES priority sectors had reduced by more than 5% compared with growth in all other parts of the area, the number of businesses in Keynsham had reduced by over 5%, the overall value of the Keynsham economy had fallen by 9%.

Somerdale has a critical role to play in promoting positive economic growth for the local Keynsham economy..”

The application does make provision for new office space and – although the three blocks are not listed – does retain their overall form and appearance and even includes reinstating bricked-up windows.

The officers’ report goes on to say:

‘In terms of the overall strategy for Keynsham, it is considered that the current application delivers an acceptable number and range of jobs.’

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Keynsham High Street

 

Officers are also anxious to make the owners aware of how archaeologically important the site is with a Roman well already known to exist between the blocks – and a major Roman town (Trajectus) now known to lie within the open space (The Hams) to the west of the factory buildings. This area will not be affected by the development.

In fact, there will be an active watching brief being kept by archaeologists and any finds will have to be excavated and recorded.

I have heard rumours that the old ‘Cadbury’s’ sign may be reinstated as part of the development but there is nothing in the report – going to the Development Committee – to suggest this.

Now – time for our amateur drone footage – shot by Dominic Tedaldi who has lived in Keynsham for fourteen years. He is an amateur drone pilot and films in the South West and in Wales – from where he originally hails.

You can link to Dominic’s Youtube channel – which includes more factory footage – via https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCgrF_ZI6BuDZHQaYr457mg