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A new approach to development in Frome

A NEW neighbourhood plan for Frome – a document which sets out how the community wants the town to develop in the future – has been launched. 

And the town council wants to hear what you think, with a series of public consultation events over the coming weeks.

Frome Town Council, which has led the creation of the plan, says the neighbourhood plan will enable the community of Frome to take greater control of the type and scale of development and land use.

Cllr Graham Burgess said, “This is a completely new type of plan, and the intention is to give local people more say on planning. What has happened up to now is that developers come in from outside and set the tone – they set a scheme that’s entirely of their making. If people don’t like it, they have to fight it and often lose.

“The intention of the neighbourhood plan is to put the local aspirations of what we want to see in Frome at the front. The developers’ schemes can then be set against the local aspirations.”

The plan has a particular focus on: • encouraging small businesses • enabling people to build their own homes, and save money in an energy efficient way • encouraging people to play a more active part in the community • making it easier for people to get around the town on foot and by bicycle • regenerating the town centre • using the River Frome corridor as an environmental and recreational asset.

The plan also wants to ensure that any future development does not damage Frome’s unique character.

Enabled by the government’s localism act, the plan intends to give local people a greater say on planning policy for their area. Cllr Burgess said, “The document is based on a lot of consultation that’s already happened, much of that is on the Vision4Frome exercise. We’re looking for people to comment on what we’ve got in, what we’ve missed out, and any comments on what we’ve done so far. We’ve made a real effort to keep the document short and to the point.

“We’re also really keen to be adventurous with our neighbourhood plan – the most adventurous aspect is the self-build element.”

The plan has been built around the outcomes of the Vision4Frome Community Plan 2008 -2028, which, following an extensive public consultation, sets out what the people of Frome have said and what they to see happen in the town, now and in the future.

A public consultation on the neighbourhood plan will now run until 8th December, and the documents can be viewed online at www.frome-tc.gov.uk. Details will be on display at the library throughout the consultation and a series of drop in events will take place around the town. This includes a town meeting on Wednesday 13th November 7.00pm to 9.00pm, which will include a workshop on the Neighbourhood Plan.

The current version is a draft and after the consultation closes, refinements will be made to the plan and put to inspectors, before the town is asked to vote to adopt it in a referendum.

“Your Town, Your Plan, Your Chance”

The consultation draft plan is available to view at www.frome-tc.gov.uk. Here, Frome Town Council outlines the main ambitions of the plan:

Encouraging small businesses to start and grow – Our aim is to ensure that the right premises, sites and other infrastructure is in place to support the start-up and growth of local businesses and employment. This will be achieved through policies that protect the existing valuable employment land in the town and enable additional employment land to come forward.

Enabling people to build their own homes, live more affordably in a more energy efficient way and play a more active part in the community – One of the key objectives is to support the delivery of housing to meet the demand of a growing population. This will be achieved through policies that:-

• provide or contribute to a mix of housing tenures, types and sizes to help support the creation of mixed, balanced and inclusive communities

• Are quality design developments, providing energy efficient homes

• Make provision for self-build and community-build housing

Making it easier for people to get around the town on foot and by bicycle – some of the key objectives are to give priority in the Town Centre to pedestrians and cyclists and to open up the River Corridor for cross-town cycle and pedestrian access.

This will be achieved through policies that enable improved access to the River Corridor. The remodelling of the Market Place and ensuring that all major developments provide footpath and cycle links.

Regenerating the town centre so that it functions better as a place to live, work, meet, shop and visit –  Our aim is to develop an attractive centre that is pedestrian and cyclist friendly and encourages people to visit, shop, invest, live and work there.

Along with the remodelling of the Market Place, one of the key factors in regenerating the town will be the redevelopment of Saxonvale. The plan includes policy that the redevelopment of Saxonvale should seek to achieve the overall vision for the redevelopment of the site based on the 2005 planning brief; bringing forward a unique community led development.

Making the most of the River Frome corridor as an environmental and recreational asset – Our aim is that the river corridor will be seen as the central open space in the town’s network of green infrastructure, with a string of inter-connected open spaces for visitors and residents to enjoy.

This will be achieved through policy that will:-

• ensure that all planning applications related to the River Corridor will take advantage of opportunities to improve the River Corridor environment.

• protect areas of locally important public open space

• identify and address deficiencies in Neighbourhood Park, sports, leisure and open space provision

Ensuring future development does not damage Frome’s unique character Consultation feedback confirms that the historic architecture and urban design of the town is considered by the local community to be an asset of considerable value that should be protected.

This will be achieved through policy that will:-

• enhance the important arrival points within the town, including the railway station.

• Protect the important views across the town

• Ensure that all new build is in line with the recommendations set out in the Town Design Statement

Frome Neighbourhood Plan: Public Consultation events

Drop in events:

• Thursday 14th November – Oakfield Academy – 6.00pm – 9.00pm

• Monday 18th November – Trinity Hall – 10.00am – 1.00pm

• Wednesday 27th November – Selwood Academy – 6.00pm – 9.00pm

• Friday 6th December – The Key Centre, 1.00pm – 4.00pm

• ‘Participate Frome’ – Frome Town Meeting – Wednesday 13th – Cheese & Grain – 7.00pm – 9.00pm

There will be information on display in Frome Library, from 28th October, through until 7th December.

A copy of the consultation draft plan and details of how to comment are available at www.frome-tc.gov.uk

For any enquires relating to the Neighbourhood Plan, please contact Jane Llewellyn 01373 465757 or email llewellynj@frometowncouncil.gov.uk

 

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