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Response to Mayday Saxonvale proposals

Frome Town Council have provided a consultation response for the Mayday Saxonvale proposals, these have been submitted and can be found in full below:

Frome Town Council fully appreciate that there is an existing application for Saxonvale, and we still look forward to working with Acorn and Mendip District Council to realise our wishes and desires for this important and unique site, which will shape the centre of Frome for generations.

However, as we have been asked to comment on the Mayday Saxonvale pre-application proposals, in line with our practice of responding to planning consultations, our comments are below.

The response below is based on the information/drawings provided at the consultation held at the Silk Mill and the information available on the Mayday Saxonvale website.

In general, we support the vision, which has the following objectives for the Saxonvale site and particularly welcome the increased amount of non-residential/employment space and affordable housing that is proposed.

The Mayday vision/masterplan

  • Employment – Over 11,000sqm of non-residential space, generating the jobs Frome needs, reducing the outflow of workers, and delivering Mendip District Council’s policy.
  • Housing – Homes that are affordable (over 40% of dwellings), imaginative, reflective of Frome’s built heritage, high quality, and with self-build options as called for by Frome’s Neighbourhood Plan.
  • Community – Saxonvale should be a community, not a development, delivering an ambitious range of place making community spaces, a new school site for St John’s, buildings for community use, and a public open air Lido.
  • Landscape – A place designed for people, surrounded by spaces that capture the essence of Frome’s character.
  • Environment – We recognize there is a climate emergency so the Mayday plan nurtures and protects the natural assets of the site.
  • History – We respect the surviving heritage assets of Saxonvale, part of Frome’s unique character.

We also welcome that the Mayday plan will work to the following principles :-

  • Human scale. Walkability: Pedestrian friendly streets, limited use of cars except access. Unified surfaces – slow traffic.
  • Connectivity: interconnected streets, hierarchy of narrow streets, boulevards and alleys.
  • Quality of architecture & pattern of place.
  • Defined character through materials and heritage features being drawn out.
  • Quality of life: created by connections of people and activity which create culture.
  • Urban hydrology – uncover the historic springs and waterways – make visible rainwater and use in the streetscape.
  • Opportunity for delight – food growing, play and places to stop and engage.

All the above seems to have taken on board the policies and aspirations of the Frome Neighbourhood Plan and reflects our concerns regarding the climate emergency declared by all three tiers of Council. The proposals will also deliver benefits to the community, providing community spaces and buildings.

We do not feel we can comment in detail on the overall layout and building designs at this stage and will reserve comment on this until the formal planning application is submitted. Our support for the above is based on the information available, however there is still a lot of information that needs to be assessed before a more detailed response can be offered. We are also aware that amendments to the proposal may be required in response to Mendip’s pre-application planning response.

Some of the key elements that need to be looked at in more detail are the viability and deliverability of the scheme, traffic impact assessment and the ecology surveys.

Going forward we would like to see Design Codes submitted as part of the outline application to ensure that the aspirations for the quality and quantity of development is realised in the final scheme.

8 July 2021
Last Updated
8 July 2021
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