Members of the Fair Homes Project have been consulting and engaging with local residents in Frome about their plans for urgently needed social housing provision.
A number of potential plots have been identified across several sites in Frome, and the Project Team are ensuring residents will be part of the conversation and help to shape the scheme.
Some 500 households are currently seeking a social home in Frome. The Fair Homes Project – a partnership between Frome Area Community Land Trust (FACLT), Selwood Housing Group (a not-for-profit housing association), and Mendip District Council – aims to build up to 30 new high-quality, fair rent, family homes, for those in desperate housing need.
A website was launched last week attracting more than 100 comments about the plans. The Fair Homes Project website provides full details and location maps, plus there’s an area where people can leave their feedback. Those seeking social housing in Frome are particularly encouraged to visit the website, where they will find details on how to register their interest online.
Whilst the online consultation ends on June 11th, 2021, this deadline is for the initial, first responses only. The consultation will continue, with a public event pencilled-in for July – details to follow.
Cllr Maxine Crawley, Co-Leader of Frome Town Council, said: “Frome Town Council is committed to working with the Frome Area Community Land Trust to bring new social housing to Frome – currently more than 500 people are registered in our town as in need of social housing on the home finder service. As such we welcome the Fair Homes Project in principle as it looks to create new homes in social ownership. However, we recognise that not all our residents will welcome the sites being looked at and would recommend that they make their comments known to Selwood Housing Association who are committed to work with residents to ensure that the plans deliver for the whole community.
As this is at pre planning stage we will look on each site on its own merits and comment accordingly when the time is right, formally, through our Planning Advisory Group”
Chair of FACLT, Roger Saunders, said: “These are very early days. This is about initial, community engagement, prior to any formal consultation or planning submissions.
“The online consultation ends on June 11th, but then we are planning in-person consultations with residents covering each of the small sites. There will be many opportunities for residents to have their say.
“With our partners at Mendip and Selwood, we want to deliver high-quality social rented homes to this community. To do that, we recognise we must be totally transparent about our potential plans. We must bring the community with us and we want them to help shape social housing in Frome.”
Paul Walsh, Group development director at Selwood Housing, said: “We’ve already received lots of feedback on our website with many constructive suggestions submitted. We thank people for taking the time to get in touch and will respond to everyone who contacts us after this first stage of the consultation closes.”
“We will continue to engage with the community online until June 11th – but that’s not the end of it. The consultation continues, and as the pandemic restrictions are removed, we are planning public meetings this summer in Frome about these sites.”
He added: “There’s been positivity about this project. People in Frome are naturally protective of their green spaces, but there is compromise and compassion there too. Many are thanking us for our attempts to tackle the urgent housing problem.”