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Planning application 2021/2373/OTA

Frome Chamber of Commerce – SUPPORT

Saxonvale is a very long awaited and vital development for Frome which will bring a drastic change to the shape of the town centre. It is therefore imperative that it contributes a lively, thriving, well-used space that works for the people of Frome, fits the ‘personality’ and ethos of the town and is a seamless extension of the current town centre.

Reasons for our support:

  1. The Chamber wants to see Saxonvale deliver a thriving commercial space

Frome desperately needs employment land within the town centre which we believe will also support other businesses within the town. There is a need for employment space so that businesses can grow – and create more jobs for the town.  Otherwise those businesses have to move out of the town because they cannot find the right space – and take those jobs with them.

There has been a very unfortunate history of allowing change of use for employment land to become housing in Frome town centre. In recent years Mendip has allowed this on the express understanding that the Saxonvale site would replace that lost employment land.

Within Mendip’s Local Plan there is a commitment to provide employment space for around 500 jobs in Frome town centre by 2028. Realistically Saxonvale is the last available space for that to happen.

We therefore support this vision for Saxonvale which delivers more than double the employment land than we can expect from Acorn’s development plan for the site.

  1. The Chamber wants to see Saxonvale deliver a thriving community that offers viable housing solutions

People who work in the town need somewhere to live so this development must play its part in solving the housing crisis the town faces and offer homes that people can live in and employment spaces they can work in. While this application provides less housing than the Acorn application we support the provision of houses, rather than the high density of flats offered by the Acorn plan which we are concerned will prove popular for weekend/AirBnB properties. We need the housing on this development to be lived in, not rented out for the weekend.

  1. We should be planning for a bright future for Frome

This is an opportunity for Mendip to leave a long-lasting legacy for the town by delivering a truly fantastic scheme that is not just another profit driven development but one that sets Frome up for a bright and prosperous future for all. We support the Mayday Saxonvale application as the way to do this.