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Fight for meadow is not over, say campaigners

CAMPAIGNERS vow that they will not give up the fight for Rodden Lake Stream Meadow, after the site was sold at auction.

The land at Styles Hill – which is a local beauty spot but also a prime site for development – was sold at auction on the 24th September for £255,000.

Frome woman Elaine Ewens started the campaign to save the fields for the town last month, calling to preserve the evolving meadow for residents and for wildlife.

Campaigners had hoped that they could delay the auction by registering the field as a community asset, but the request was turned down by Mendip District Council’s corporate asset management group the night before the auction.

The campaigners are encouraged that they have been able to meet with the new owner and start work on finding common ground.

Elaine Ewens said, “We were obviously disappointed it was sold, and terribly disappointed that Mendip decided not to grant the community asset registration.

“But we’re absolutely not giving up, this means too much to too many people, the support is phenomenal. It is so valuable for wildlife and the community.

“We’re looking to collect as much evidence of the meadow as possible to help protect it for future use. We’re looking for photos, letters, pictures – anything of current use or previous use. We’d love to hear from wildlife enthusiasts, people who walk dogs, people who use it for food foraging, a quiet space – any evidence at all will be invaluable to help us secure protection.”

Please send your information to savefromemeadow@outlook.com or drop a hard copy into the town council offices in Palmer Street.

 

Mendip councillors make decision ‘in complete opposition to the views of the community.’

 

Frome Town Council had backed the campaign by pledging £40,000 toward the purchase of the land, after a packed meeting on the 18th September where campaigners came out in force to show their support.

The town council says the subsequent sale of the land at auction was a ‘disappointing blow to the community’s brilliant campaign’ to save them for the town.

It has also condemned the decision of the ‘secretive’ corporate asset management group at Mendip District Council, saying the decision to not register the land as a valuable community asset went in ‘complete opposition’ to the views of the local community.

Frome town councillor Peter Macfadyen said, “How a group of Mendip councillors, most of whom don’t represent Frome and who I guess don’t even know the site we are talking about, can decide in an such a negative way is beyond me.

“These fields have been used continuously by local people for at least 30 years – how can they say they are not valuable to the community?

“At the very least this was yet another shoddy and ill informed decision by councillors who have proved they do not represent our community.

“It’s time for change and to give the responsibility for these decisions to those in town and who know what they are talking about.”

 

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