Frome Town Council (FTC) is pleased to announce that the appeal against refusal by Mendip District Council (MDC) of planning permission and listed building consent for improvements around the Boyle Cross monument has been successful. Costs have been awarded. MDC are the landowners and as previously discussed with them work can start on this long-awaited scheme once they have agreed a lease.
The permitted works include the renovation of the Boyle Cross, new high quality paving and seating. The scheme will involve the removal of parking except for a loading bay for delivery vehicles. Amongst other things, it will enhance the facilities for markets and other events including the provision of a more level site and power.
The main issues that the Inspector considered were the effect of the scheme on the listed Boyle Cross monument and conservation area and the effect of removing parking from the Market Place on the vitality and viability of the town centre. His main conclusions were:
- The removal of the current parking and new paving would be a major improvement to the setting of the Boyle Cross and the proposed renovation would help to preserve the monument.
- By removing the parking where cars currently have to back into the road would result in an improvement in highway safety.
- There is plenty of parking nearby and so the loss of parking would not result in parking shortages. He also noted that existing disabled parking spaces in the Market Place are unaffected by the scheme. He didn’t consider that the scheme would be detrimental to the vitality and viability of the town centre.
The Boyle Cross scheme is only part of a bigger project for the Market Place that is designed to improve its appearance and make it more pedestrian friendly. FTC is in advanced discussions with the Highway Authority to introduce additional measures such as new courtesy crossings and traffic calming that will make it a safer and a more pleasant environment for people walking in the town centre. The intention is to implement all aspects of this project as soon as possible.
FTC’s Leader Cllr Mel Usher said, ‘For many years, local people have been pressing for improvements to be made in the Market Place and following considerable consultation, the need for remodelling works had been enshrined in MDC’s adopted planning policy. So this decision is a major step forward in helping us to deliver the community’s wishes. We now look forward to working with MDC to make this happen – the next step is for them to grant a lease so that we can start construction work and I hope that this can now proceed without any further unnecessary delays.’
Contact for enquiries: Peter Wheelhouse, Economic Development & Regeneration Manager
Tel: 07714 587127