Vision for Frome




2018 Update

The history below on Saxonvale is stll of value, as even now in 2018 its future is not clear, with a number of proposals and initiatives appearing to date.  So an update, as far as I as the ex-Chairman of V4F can determine, is attempted.

Firstly, the history as recorded in 2015:

Saxonvale remains a major subject of Town discussion, with two Town Groups ("Frome for All" and "Keep Frome Local" - see their websites in our "Links" section) holding somewhat differing views.  V4F has always supported a solution that is coordinated across the whole site, and largely meets the Mendip District Council Planning Brief that was generated in 2005 at considerable cost and wide consultation within the town; even though 10 years has passed, to us there is no great change in community aspirations which would make it outdated in content.  It is a continuing concern that development is now being proposed in disconnected and separate proposals, with the Frontier Outline Proposal having been submitted to Mendip District Council and proposed housing development appearing from Terramond, with a retirement complex also identified for the site.  Other interesting factors associated with this site was the establishment of the Carely Trust, with an objective to seek a composite, coordinate and visionary solution for the whole site, and the Mendip District Council and the Town Council owning key sections of the site at its East and West extremes.  This should give our Councils the means by which a good solution for the site could be managed with the other site owners, not in the current "we'll do our own thing" manner.

This site is so key to the character of the town for generations to come that we absolutely owe it to them that we do our best to get it right.  Why V4F has a strong interest is that the site has the potential of contributing to the meeting of so many of the Objectives  and Projects within the Community Plan.  You can see in our "Links" section our submission to Mendip District Council on the Frontier submission, and a supporting very detailed analysis of how the Community Plan, and the various other relevant Plans that exist, should relate to what could and should be done with the Saxonvale site.  There is also a spreadsheet showing the Projects that could also relate.

The latest activity has been for the Town Council to commission a consultant to draw up an outline vision of how the site, in its entirety, could be developed.  The Frontier submission is also soon to be considered by the Mendip District Council Planning Board.  This was expected in October but has been postponed.  To seek to have a greater local influence on this important development a Neighbourhood Development Order is being contemplated, and a Town Council Position Paper has been drawn up to object to the Frontier outline, and to seek to ahieve the type of "Whole Site" solution V4F has been supporting.  V4F has therefore become a joint signatory of this Position Statement.

We will therefore continue to do what we can to help achieve a good solution for the whole site.

Update as at June 2018

In addressing the way forward, it is a matter of getting some mutual agreement within the four saxonvale land owners, and, as shown above with the Frontier bid, the Frome Community.  The landowners are, from East of the site to the West:  the Town Council owning the land hosting the Further Education (FETE) facility, Terramond, Notts Industries, and Mendip District Council with the Merchants Barton car park.  A private owner is on the West periphery in the Silk Mill.

So far all other proposals for the site have not got mutual agreement. 

It is understood there is still the aim by the Town Council to network with these owners to try to find a way ahead for the site, noting that Terramond has proposals on the books, with part participation with a Macarthy & Stone proposed development.

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