HJA was appointed by South Somerset District Council (SSDC) to review the previously identified functional economic market area (FEMA) for the district and consider any sub areas within it. To inform this review, the Council required robust evidence prepared in line with national policy and practice guidance. Our work formed part of the evidence base to underpin employment and economic policies within the Local Plan.
Defining the FEMA involved consideration of national planning policy and guidance surrounding this topic, as well as previous research carried out for this study area such as housing market areas and functional economic market areas research. We then undertook our own independent research to test the findings from previous research, which included stakeholder consultation.
The commercial market review was primarily based on consultations with local stakeholders and was supplemented with available data where appropriate. We reported our findings for recent trends in the office and industrial markets, rents and values, drivers of demand, the development market, barriers and constraints in the market and historic take up.
This work complemented a second research study which set out a review of long-term economic forecasts for the district, and their implications for future employment sites and premises requirements.