To subscribe to our daily newsletter, enter your email address into the box at the top of this story. Subscriptions Sign Out. The developer has now laid out the next steps for the regeneration. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time. Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice.
Plans for the regeneration of the Saxonvale site in Frome. View gallery. Follow somersetlive. News all Most Read Most Recent Pubs 'Unflattering' countryside pub to be converted into farm shop and micropub The developer says the plans will improve a 'basic' offering to customers.
Council chairman urged to step down over "slip of the tongue" about gypsies Somerset County Council Cllr Nigel Taylor said he didn't even realise what he said. Plans to build houses next to existing development in Martock described as "moderately perverse" property news "It's in the wrong place, it's driven by greed and it's got nothing to do with local need".
McDonald's drive-thru diners causing traffic 'mayhem' for shoppers Somerset News She's not lovin' it. Bath Bath is now home to almost , rats after lockdown leads to breeding boom They are reportedly breeding in empty premises. Coach swaps football for pizza to open restaurant in Yeovil amidst second national lockdown Yeovil The independent pizzeria hopes to promote optimism and positive thinking among the community.
Weston-super-mare The team were on hand to help Chris and Cat Sweet along with their three disabled children. Most Read Most Recent Pubs 'Unflattering' countryside pub to be converted into farm shop and micropub The developer says the plans will improve a 'basic' offering to customers. I have to agree with guy, what is there for the youth of the town, just more shops and a legacy of more traffic!
Why another supermarket? I think we have. Katy, you have done an amazing job revealing the major inaccuracies and smokescreens put up by the developer. The word you are looking for is RAMP. Then both able and disabled sections of the public are served. Hi, yes it is the original designers who have shown steps in the main access route.
It would be good if you could write to the planning officer to point this out. Many thanks. Why on earth do we need another supermarket? We need to think creatively for the future of Frome and to preserve the independent shops that have made Frome unique. We are short of green innovative spaces in the immediate town area. It is ludicrous for the main part of this potentially amazing new development to be a large superstore when we have two already — there are so many more creative ideas and it would be truly amazing to be able to harness the talent here in Frome and stop this happening — to have what we want.
When I look at the drawing it is so clear that the whole thing revolves around the supermarket — when we have shown that the Sunday Markets, farmers markets and the amazing small retailers that are becoming well established here are a great way to bring people into town for so much more than just shopping. Thank you Katy for doing these analysis — much appreciated. Just to add that I live in the heart of Frome and not once have a needed to go to the big supermarkets on the periphery of the town, finding everything I need in the town centre.
All the comments above are important and when I write to Mendip to object I will be reiterating them. This website is really useful. I work out of town and, though I live near the site I have only recently heard about it. I found it almost unbelievable that anyone could be so unimaginative as to dream up plans for another, very large supermarket on the site. So much of the plan unclear and the information so difficult to visualize accurately — this makes it really hard for objectors to be specific.
However, my first thoughts were ugly, imposing building, glaring lights right in the middle of town, constant noise and the destruction of an area that has so much potential to do something good for Frome and its people. I suspect though that this proposal has little to do with the well being of local people and everything to do with greedy developers and making more profit.
I hope people stand up and object but there may be many people who, like me, know little about it. Having lived here for four years and now considering myself very much a local, I believe that what is required is an analysis of what benefits Frome and not what quick profits can be realised by simply replicating what has not worked in so many other towns.
I believe that we need to take a much wider community view of the amenity opportunities that we could leverage that not only improve the value to society but also create opportunities for the vast creative and frankly energetic individuals that exist here. Gut Watts talks of visionary ideas, a perspective with which I completely agree. Thus a vision that differentiates us and adds real value to Frome and at the same time protects our short, medium and long term needs. For example our geographical location means that Frome could be a very desirable holiday destination.
If we can build upon our industrial and creative arts heritage we can attract new income to the area and provide employment opportunities for both the young and growing third generation community. This adds business value for inward and external investors and sets us apart as a town that has a clear identity and one that is vibrant and a great place to visit.
There are too many examples of towns where useful spaces have been poorly developed and which do not represent meaningful long term benefits for all. Veronica and the others are right. I live seven miles out of Frome, but come here to shop, and to use the optician and dentist and doctor.
Frome is a town of enormous character and variety and most things I need I can get here. I agree about the lack of a proper riverside open space and the trees. I suppose their rents would be too high for independent businesses. Visually, the plans appear to be intensely boring, with none of the individuality that characterises this old market town.
I hope Mendip will make a firm stand on the visual aspect. I agree that there should be facilities for the young. Since the skateboard run was removed from outside the Cheese and Grain, there is nowhere in the town centre for such fun to be had.
The leisure centre is well out of town and a complementary facility would surely benefit young people. Sorry to go on so, but I feel very depressed about the whole plan. Thank you Katy, for keeping me informed. Frome needs something to increase visitors to the centre of town, a new big supermarket is not what is needed, we need a store like Wilkinsons to come to the town.
This site has been discussed for decades and nothing has been done here. The businesses in the centre need to have new competition and more visitors. I live just off Christchurch Street East and while I appreciate the need to develop the Saxonvale site I am concerned at the potential traffic problems that might ensue from the existing proposal. This is not a sensible idea. So………tongue-in-cheek I offer a proposal to demolish the current ugly Iceland building and create a new 2-way access road in its place.
Compensation would be to provide Iceland with a site on the new development. The new road would at least then provide 2 way access to the new site for all those journeying from north of the river Frome and thereby considerably ease traffic congestion in my neck of the woods! Traffic light control would also slow vehicle speeds through the town centre.
The range of independent retailers and monthly Supermarkets which now happen in Frome, together with events like Frome Festival are doing a considerable amount to give Frome an identity and distinguish it from those other towns which appear to be dead or at least very unwell. The fact that all of this is currently blended with city centre shops like Subway and Iceland is in many ways a good thing — it makes it clear that this is a living breathing town not a chocolate box place just for tourists.
A new development per se is not necessarily a disaster — it could add to the diversity and interest of the town centre, and increase the range of shops that are present, together with providing additional public spaces, improving the night-time economy and maybe providing more car parking so that the main carpark could be used more for other purposes.
I will be writing to Mendip to protest. We need to give locals start-ups a chance of getting off the ground, this is a step back into the concrete land of consumer garbage. It is also obvious that Frome does not need a supermarket in the middle of town. A giant supermarket in the middle of town. Yup, thats what we need to really feel like we are on the map. The entire premise is deeply flawed and it worries me that already people are worried about the details involved in the build of the store, rather than challenging its very existence and possibility.
Its not a done deal is it? At the last Super Market I met so many friends in town, bought great presents and goodies, then went to the Silk Mill and had amazing food and hung out with more friends, and we all agreed that we could not think of another town in the UK where this kind of thing could take place. They care about profit Uber alles — thats what they do. However, we can and should expect Mendip Council to act in the best interests of the town. What can we do to really make this come to a grinding halt?
Lack of access to information — I am concerned that some of the documents are not available on your web-site relating to this application. Specifically the appendices to the transport assessment document. When Lidl was proposed, Mendip assured residents that a pedestrian crossing would be created in Portway, near the junction of Alexandra Road and Portway. This has never materialised. It is still extremely dangerous to cross Portway in this area, with most traffic unwilling to give way to pedestrians crossing via the island refuge.
A one way system of traffic into the new development — down Garsdale, into new development and out via a new link past Lidl using some of their car park, with compensatory space elsewhere under their store. This would also allow Vicarage Street to become shared space for pedestrians and vehicles. Anti-protectionism access — The development as shown is inward-looking and protects itself from the rest of the town.
This creates a commercial ghetto, with no desire to have a community relationship in the wider sense. It is divisive and unwelcome. Visual and physical routes into the rest of the town centre need to be clear and interesting, while bearing in mind full access for those with impaired or limited movement. Access to future of town — The size of the proposed supermarket is at odds with the local plan and the scale of the town centre.
This should be seen as an opportunity to win awards for good design and careful planning, instead of a formulaic pattern book design. You, as planners, have a one-off chance to make your mark internationally with a stimulating and fresh design brief. What exactly is there in this proposal that is what this Town needs, apart from jobs?
Thank you Katy I had no idea of the inaccuracies involved apart from the traffic problem at the top of Garsdale. There will be such a breakdown in relationships, on a monumental scale, between the people of Frome and the Council, if this gets approved. What I love about Frome is everybody is so incredibly passionate about this Town; everybody wants to help make it a better place. The proposals are dysfunctional to the rest of the Town Centre. There is no clear route from the existing Centre through to the proposed development.
There are no appropriate parking facilities for the development, access in or out. The Transport Assessment report quotes no safety issues but in the same paragraph accepts that there have been 8 incidents within the Garsdale junction in the last 5 years. The paragraph is a contradiction.
What we should demand at least is a decent set of drawings. They are not easy to read, I have tried I have years of past work experience dealing with planning applications too!!! What I worry about is carrots being dangled, or pressure from above to approve, or Planners with a lack of empathy for a Town. I do hope our Planners are much much better than that. But rather than hoping, we all have to say our bit.
Apathy destroys. These plans do not promote town-centre use. To access the town-centre from the food store, people will have to cross two busy roads, as well as manage steps. This means only able-bodied people will be able to make the journey.
There is also no access to the town-centre through the car park, which actively discourages food-store customers from going into town after shopping at the food-store. The smaller retail stores face away from the town, again preventing movement between this area and the town-centre.
The hotel has no car park and is very small. It is really important that the town centre has a good-sized hotel to encourage out-of-towners to stay for a few days, not just a few hours.
By the 13th century, the Abbey had bought up some of the other manors although it did let them out again and was exploiting the profits from market and trade in the town. Additionally, Henry VII did grant a charter to Edmund Leversedge, then lord of the manor , giving him the right to hold fairs on 22 July and 21 September. Hales Castle was built, probably in the years immediately after the Norman conquest of England in It comprises banks and outer ditches and has an unfinished bailey.
The manufacture of woollen cloth was established as the town's principal industry in the 15th century,   and Frome remained the only Somerset town in which this staple industry flourished. From to major expansion, including the building of a new artisans' suburb to the west of Trinity Street, occurred.
She was subsequently tried and hanged. Ankarette's grandson Roger Twynyho received from Edward IV a full retrospective pardon for Ankarette, and the petition he submitted to the king in describes fully the circumstances of the case, well illustrating the quasi-kingly high-handedness of Clarence which was ultimately not tolerated by the king. Large numbers of his army deserted during the few days he stayed in the town before his eventual defeat at the Battle of Sedgemoor. Poverty, the decline of the wool industry in the midth century, increased industrialisation, and rising food prices led to some unrest amongst the inhabitants of Frome, and there were riots during the century.
By , the town was described in less flattering terms than those Defoe had used 70 years earlier. These plans, the idea of a local businessman, Thomas Bunn, mostly failed to come to fruition, although some public buildings were erected and a wide new approach road to the town centre from the south was cut named Bath Street after the landowner, Lord Bath of Longleat House. Whilst wool remained an important part of the town's economy into the 19th and even 20th centuries, other industries were established in the town.
A bell-foundry started in by William Cockey grew to be a major producer of components for the developing gas industry and employer of people. The J W Singer brass foundry and bronze-casting works,  was a major employer and produced bronze statues. They made brass ornaments for local churches and became known through the Oxford Movement within the Church of England which led to increasing demand for church ornaments. One of the first statues cast was a copy of General Gordon riding a camel.
The firm was also responsible for the bronze statue of Boudica with her daughters in her war chariot furnished with scythes after the Persian fashion , which was commissioned by Prince Albert and executed by Thomas Thornycroft. It was not cast in bronze until , 17 years after Thornycrofts death, and now stands next to Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament , London. Pomeroy and cast by Singers. She holds a sword in her right hand and a pair of weighing scales in her left.
The statue is popularly supposed to show blind Justice ; however, the figure is not blindfolded. The statue of Alfred the Great at Winchester was a further commission. Brewing was also a source of employment. During the 20th century the old wool industry in Frome declined, although the last fabric mill at Wallsbridge did not close until Other industries such as printing, light engineering, metal casting, carpeting and dairying continued,  many taking old premises from the cloth mills and others being sited at the new Marston Road Trading Estate which led to growth after World War II , including the construction of council houses.
Frome is the largest town within the Somerset non-metropolitan district of Mendip , although the administrative centre is Shepton Mallet. Prior to it was administered by Frome Urban District. The town elects three members to Somerset County Council , each from a separate county division.
The next County elections will be held in Frome also has eleven councillors on Mendip District Council , two from each of the town council wards except for Oakfield, which elects only one. The civil parish of Frome has adopted the style of a town, and there is a Town Council of 17 members. Reduced from 20 Councillors in The most recent elections were in May , following which the council is made up of 17 members of the Independents for Frome party ifF.
There are 6 electoral wards in Frome having the same total population as that quoted above. The town was not represented in Parliament until given one member in the House of Commons by the Reform Act of Separate representation was abolished for the general election , with Frome itself being transferred to the Wells division, whilst most of the remainder of the constituency formed the bulk of the new Somerset North constituency. Further changes took place for the general election when the current Somerton and Frome constituency was created.
The nearest general hospital is the Royal United Hospital in Bath. The town rests on Forest Marble which dates back to the Middle Jurassic ,  and has been used for local building. The area surrounding the town is Cornbrash , Oxford Clay and Greensand. Although the royal forest of Selwood no longer exists, the nearby countryside is still richly wooded, for example on the Longleat , Maiden Bradley and Stourhead estates.
To the west of the town, on the edge of the Mendip Hills, there are large active limestone quarries , such as Whatley Quarry and Merehead Quarry , along with disused quarries. The working quarries are served by a dedicated railway line which branches off the main line at Frome, passes through the town centre and out through the Welshmill and Spring Gardens areas in the north-west quadrant of the town.
Along with the rest of South West England , Frome has a temperate climate which is generally wetter and milder than the rest of England. In general, December is the dullest month and June the sunniest. The south west of England enjoys a favoured location, particularly in summer, when the Azores High extends its influence north-eastwards towards the UK. Cloud often forms inland, especially near hills, and reduces exposure to sunshine. The average annual sunshine totals around hours.
Rainfall tends to be associated with Atlantic depressions or with convection. In summer, convection caused by solar surface heating sometimes forms shower clouds and a large proportion of the annual precipitation falls from showers and thunderstorms at this time of year. About 8—15 days of snowfall is typical. November to March have the highest mean wind speeds, with June to August having the lightest.
The predominant wind direction is from the south west. The population of Frome was 12, in the census, however it then declined to 11, in and remained between 11, and 12, until the s. Since then, it has increased, nearly doubling to over 23, in The metal-working and printing industries which replaced wool as Frome's main industry have declined but not left the town.
Singers still has a presence in the town, as does Butler and Tanner, although the latter now named Butler Tanner and Dennis following a take-over hit major financial difficulties in , and made two-thirds of its workforce redundant. Almost half of the economically active population of Frome commute to work outside the town in Bath, Bristol , Warminster , Westbury or further afield. About 2, people commute into the town. A substantial part of the workforce has no formal qualifications and is poorly skilled, leaving them vulnerable to a decline in manufacturing work.
Frome town centre contains a considerable number of independent shops, and a few chain stores. Retail is primarily aimed at serving the local population's requirements for food there are two large supermarkets on opposite edges of the town, and three smaller supermarkets in the town centre , basic clothing, health and beauty, DIY and some electrical goods.
However studies show that only about a quarter of the town's population do their non-food shopping in the town. Markets are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays in the town centre: some in the Market Yard car park, and others in the former agricultural warehouse, the Cheese and Grain. The Saturday cattle market was moved from the centre of the town to nearby Standerwick in the s. In , Frome was granted Fairtrade Town status. A Vision for Frome — has been developed following a consultation with local people in the spring of which received over 3, responses.
There have been a number of significant housing developments within Frome, many on former industrial sites, and these are continuing with plans for the redevelopment of a site at Saxonvale and Garsdale to include several hundred dwellings, shops and a 'cultural quarter' containing workshops for artists. Frome Museum on North Parade. Frome has a thriving arts scene. The Cheese and Grain, a former farm produce warehouse which was converted into a market and concert hall in , has a capacity of up to and hosts regular pop concerts.
Frome's only cinema, the Westway, is in Cork Street in the town centre, which closed in March In , a 'not for profit' company called Frome Community Productions was formed by members of the community in order to develop and deliver FromeFM , an internet based community radio station. The station broadcasts 24 hours per day and is completely staffed by volunteers who produce features, interviews and music shows. In , FromeFM commenced a service to stream the broadcasts to mobile phones.
More than houses were built between and in a very unusual early example of a planned grid pattern. Stony Street, which leads into Catherine Hill, is a steep, cobbled road climbing out of the town centre. Also in the centre of the town, Cheap Street contains buildings dating to the 16th and 17th centuries and has a stream running down the middle fed by the spring at St John's Church.
Cheap Street has never been used for vehicular traffic and its layout is based on land plots dating to approximately Despite a fire in the buildings have remained substantially unchanged since apart from shop-frontages. The town bridge, originally built in the 14th century, was rebuilt in the 17th century and widened in the 19th century,  at which time houses were built on it. It was restored in The Blue House , a grade I listed building.
Frome has more than listed buildings, three of which including the parish church are grade I listed. The Blue House , next to the town bridge, is one of the grade I buildings; it was formerly the Bluecoat School and Almshouses, named after the colour of the school uniforms. The Blue House provided a home for twenty widows and schooling for twenty boys. The front of the building is adorned by two statues, one of a man and the other a woman, indicating the building's dual purpose.
They are colloquially known as "Billy Ball" and "Nancy Guy". The building's role as a school came to an end in and it now provides studio and one-bedroom flats for seventeen elderly residents. Rook Lane Chapel was a noncomformist chapel built between and by James Pope.
The chapel had a gallery around three sides and the centre of the ceiling was domed and supported by two Tuscan columns. Rook Lane ceased to be used as a chapel in and there followed twenty-five years of neglect. In the early s the building was compulsorily purchased by Somerset County Council and transferred to the Somerset Buildings Preservation Trust , which carried out repairs and restorations.
In it was converted by a firm of architects, the ground floor becoming a community hall and arts centre managed by Rook Lane Arts Trust and the galleried upper floor becoming offices for the architectural firm NVB Architects. Frome is reputed to have one or more systems of tunnels beneath the streets of the older parts of the town.
Some entrances are visible above ground; for example in the wall at the top of Stony Street, with other entrances in the cellars of shops and houses. Their purpose and full extent remain unknown but they have been investigated in recent years by at least one local group and a documentary has been made. Church of St John the Baptist, Frome. The parish church of St John the Baptist , was built between the late 12th century and early 15th century replacing a AD Saxon building.
Major restoration work was carried out in the s, including the construction of the Via Crucis , which is thought to be unique in an Anglican church. The stained glass windows are near-contemporary copies of windows designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones.
Giles,  as another Chapel of Ease to St John's. It is small with a decorated sanctuary ceiling. In , Irvingite Catholics Catholic-Apostolic began worshipping in a building in the West End until the church was closed. The Roman Catholic church began in Frome after the building of a temporary church in Park Road in , and a new church, St Catharine's Catholic Church, was finally built on the site in and Rook Lane Chapel , a noncomformist chapel, was in use from until This building was replaced in , and was extended in a separate, octagonal school room with a conical roof having been built on the grounds in The original building was replaced around with a simple unadorned stone building comprising a single meeting room with wrought iron gallery above.
The building became a school, the town library, Red Cross centre and, since , the offices of a software company. The present chapel-like appearance was created in a refurbishment by the Red Cross. Baptists had been worshipping in the town since , and had two churches. One was built in Sheppards Barton now South Parade in This was demolished and replaced by a new building in , which was itself closed in Part of this building was converted to residential use but the main church, with a baptism pool, remains disused.
It was replaced with a new building in , which was embellished with a Doric portico in It is now used as a Community Centre. There is another Methodist church on Portway, built in Frome is served by the Bristol to Weymouth railway line which passes the eastern edge of the town.
Frome station was opened in and is one of the oldest railway stations still in operation in Britain, now with direct services to London Paddington. A freight line, which branches off through the town to serve the quarries on the Mendip Hills, is mainly used by Mendip Rail. A continuation of this line, which previously linked Frome to Radstock , is now the route of National Cycle Route 24 , otherwise known as the Colliers Way.
The A bypasses the town around the southern and eastern edges, while the A passes through the centre of the town from north-west to south-east. There is a public-access car club, operated by the social enterprise Co-wheels. The town's main college, Frome Community College , provides education between ages 13 and 18, and has specialist " media arts " status.
Initially in a temporary location in Corsley, it moved to the permanent location on Park Road in September There are no further or higher education establishments in Frome, the closest third-level institution being the University of Bath.
A vocational training facility opened in a temporary building in Agricultural Showground cricket pitch. The Leisure Centre offers a wide range of activities including swimming, indoor bowls, squash and a gym,  originally opened in , and refurbished through October to May The Millennium Green has several marked walks and a picnic area close to a semi wild open space for local wildlife. The Frome Town ladies' team also play at Badgers Hill.
Frome Town F. The Youth section covers players of all abilities from under 6's to under 18's. The club was formed in and, for the season, plays in the West of England Premier League : Somerset Division. Mark Harmon, who played for both Somerset and Kent. Alex Barrow, who plays for Somerset and represented England at under 19 level. The Fourth XV, known as the Cavalry, play friendly, social fixtures against other local sides. The Frome Cobble Wobble , is an individually timed bicycle hill climb sprint.
Sign In Don't have an account? Contents [ show ]. Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. With the public consultations now concluded, Acorn will be submitting an outline planning application by the end of April - which will include designed designs for the changes to Garsdale Road.
If this is granted, more detailed designs for different sections of the scheme will be brought forward through a series of reserved matters applications in the ensuing months. A spokeswoman said: "The intention with the public consultation was to present our initial development proposals for the site.
A total of people attended. To subscribe to our daily newsletter, enter your email address into the box at the top of this story. Subscriptions Sign Out. The developer has now laid out the next steps for the regeneration. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time. Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice. Plans for the regeneration of the Saxonvale site in Frome.
View gallery. Follow somersetlive. News all Most Read Most Recent Pubs 'Unflattering' countryside pub to be converted into farm shop and micropub The developer says the plans will improve a 'basic' offering to customers. Council chairman urged to step down over "slip of the tongue" about gypsies Somerset County Council Cllr Nigel Taylor said he didn't even realise what he said. Plans to build houses next to existing development in Martock described as "moderately perverse" property news "It's in the wrong place, it's driven by greed and it's got nothing to do with local need".
McDonald's drive-thru diners causing traffic 'mayhem' for shoppers Somerset News She's not lovin' it.
The important thing to remember at this stage is that building uses, particularly public and commercial uses, will almost certainly change over time, but the connections, the streets and public spaces, are likely to endure for a very long time indeed. There would be great benefit if it could also include the site owned by Frome Town Council, and we would encourage them to become a partner in developing the site to its best potential.
Share your views on the Saxonvale site by emailing max. To subscribe to our daily newsletter, enter your email address into the box at the top of this story. Find our Bath Facebook page here or Somerset's can be found here. Alternatively, follow us on Twitter - Bath and Somerset. Subscriptions Sign Out. Video Loading Video Unavailable. Click to play Tap to play. The video will start in 8 Cancel Play now.
Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time. Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice. Follow somersetlive. News all Most Read Most Recent Pubs 'Unflattering' countryside pub to be converted into farm shop and micropub The developer says the plans will improve a 'basic' offering to customers. Council chairman urged to step down over "slip of the tongue" about gypsies Somerset County Council Cllr Nigel Taylor said he didn't even realise what he said.
Plans to build houses next to existing development in Martock described as "moderately perverse" property news "It's in the wrong place, it's driven by greed and it's got nothing to do with local need". McDonald's drive-thru diners causing traffic 'mayhem' for shoppers Somerset News She's not lovin' it.
Bath Bath is now home to almost , rats after lockdown leads to breeding boom They are reportedly breeding in empty premises. Coach swaps football for pizza to open restaurant in Yeovil amidst second national lockdown Yeovil The independent pizzeria hopes to promote optimism and positive thinking among the community. Weston-super-mare The team were on hand to help Chris and Cat Sweet along with their three disabled children. Most Read Most Recent Pubs 'Unflattering' countryside pub to be converted into farm shop and micropub The developer says the plans will improve a 'basic' offering to customers.
Top Stories. Swedish cafe selling 'fresh and colourful food' to open in Bath Food and Drink The owner learnt to bake in Gothenburg. Since the planning application was submitted, numerous objections to it have been submitted both from individuals and statutory consultees. Frome Town Council — which sold a parcel of land it owned near the river to the district council — has said the development does not go far enough to address traffic concerns in the town centre.
Saxonvale is employment land. It is the only substantial site upon which those jobs can be delivered. Building on brownfield sites is not always straightforward — there are often hidden costs associated with land decontamination, utilities or other matters.
In some cases, the cost of dealing with these problems creates a situation where the developer cannot make a sufficient profit in the new homes to make the development viable. In other instances, developers re-negotiate the terms of planning permission with the local authority, usually reducing the number of affordable homes to ensure it can make enough profit for the entire site to be built out.
In the case of Saxonvale, a legal agreement exists between Acorn and the council surrounding the site, known as a sale and overage agreement. These governs the number of homes that will be delivered on-site, stating that the council will see financial benefits if the value of the land increases as a result of the development being carried out. The council also has policies within its Local Plan stating that affordable housing must comprise at least 30 per cent of any new major development — but this can be renegotiated if there are concerns about viability.
A recent viability assessment, carried out for Acorn by JLL, ruled that only 21 per cent of the homes within the planned scheme could be affordable. This would fall to Mr Moore attempted to secure the information from the council using the Freedom of Information Act, but this was refused since the material is judged to be commercially sensitive.
Mr Moore, unsatisfied, has taken the decision to a tribunal, which will rule in the coming weeks over whether the full agreement should be released. The date for this has not yet been confirmed — but it is likely to be delayed further as a result of the recent Dutch N legal ruling. The Somerset Levels and Moors are protected by the Ramsar Convention, an international law which recognises and protects areas of wetlands for future generations.
This means the council is unable to make immediate decisions on significant applications — including developments involving large numbers of homes or new commercial units.
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