‘Boxworks’ – that’s the work spaces based on containers planned by Mendip District Council to be based alongside the Cheese and Grain. Some think it is interesting; others that its dreadful. What is clear to me is that the details are complex and it seems that it is the details that are important.
There is a well documented demand for workspace in the centre of town and therefore the Neighbourhood plan (the planning document for the Frome) acknowledges this. So we could embrace Boxworks as a creative solution to a visible need; but putting that number of workspaces next to a major music venue, well used community centre and popular club that gets folk out on the river will impact on them all and not necessarily in a useful way. The suggested location does have the benefit for the workers using Boxworks that they will be able to use the facilities of the C&G. Boxworks will pay for this support and that may help the C&G; but ensuring that no-one looses out from this relationship is the challenge.
The Boxworks plan is something that Mendip District Council wants to do. It’s their project and the market car park is owned by the District Council. In a way it’s like you deciding to put a shed at the bottom of your garden, they want to put a big group of sheds on their car park. What is different is that they are also the planning authority. It is the Mendip District Council councillors who will decide whether to approve the plan or not.
Frome Town Council and people that live here; whether we agree, disagree or just want to suggest modifications, are only able to comment on the plans. It is therefore up to us all to make sure we know the details so we can make informed comments that count.