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Last chance to have your voice heard over plans for Saxonvale site

LOCAL people are being urged to have their say now on plans for a new retail park on the Saxonvale site. Frome Town Council say, “Never before has a development of this size been considered in our town” and warn that time is running out to let the council know your views. 

Campaign group, Keep Frome Local, is stepping up its objection to the Saxonvale proposals, saying the plan will have a significant negative impact on the town.

It is urging local people to attend their planned public meeting at the Cheese and Grain on Tuesday 21st January from 7.30pm-9.00pm.

The planning application will then be debated two days later by Frome Town Council and members of the public are invited to have their say at the meeting on Thursday 23rd January at 7.00pm in the Assembly Rooms.  At this meeting, the town council will debate the application and make recommendations to Mendip District Council who will take the ultimate decision on the planning application.

If you would like to speak at this meeting, the council ask contact is made in advance of the meeting as they are expecting many people to attend.

The plans can be viewed in several places but the easiest place to see a copy is at Frome Town Council’s offices or online at: http://publicaccess. mendip.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=MVMOOWKP02400

Frome Town Council warns that time is running out for feedback to be given to them from the public. The council say, “Never before has a development of this size been considered in our town. Never has a  debate raged so fervently through the hearts and minds of Frome’s residents. The planning application by Frontier has been lodged, it’s time to register your thoughts on their plans for the Saxonvale site.

“Time is extremely limited and you have until the 24th January to give Mendip District Council feedback on the plans and voice your opinion. It is vital as a Frome resident that you don’t miss this opportunity to have your say.

“Take a moment of your time to consider the potential benefits and pitfalls of a development this size in your town centre. What do you think about a supermarket in town, would you use it, how do you feel about the increase in traffic that will be experienced within the town, how will this impact on your life and what would you hope to see as part of the Saxonvale site? More clothes shops? More community spaces? This is your chance to have your say, DO NOT MISS IT!”

The deadline for the public feedback to the council is Friday 24th January. Comments can be made by emailing consultationresponses@mendip.gov.uk, writing to The Council Offices, Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5BT, by calling 0300 303 8588 or online at www.bit.ly/Frontplans.

Frome Town Council is also able to gather your views via a questionnaire that can be picked up from collection points in and around town, including the following places:

Frome Town Council offices, Frome Medical Centre, Minor Injuries Unit, The Cheese and Grain, Frome Library, Frome Railway Station, The Key Centre, Frome Conservative Club, Frome College, Frome Leisure Centre, various cafes in and around the town centre.

The Keep Frome Local group, which is opposed to the plans drawn up by Milton Keynes-based developer, Frontier Estates, say the development will have a significant negative impact on the town.

Keep Frome Local report, “The meeting is intended to clarify our objections to the Saxonvale plans and, if you find lodging your objections online problematic, we can help you there and then. We aim to take your written objections to the Mendip District Council offices the following day. We also want to share some exciting news with you, but more of that later.

“We would love it if you brought along to the meeting, family, friends, neighbours, anyone you know who shares our views and who might like to have a say in the future of our town.”

Keep Frome Local is calling for people to voice their concerns to the council as well.

In an email to the Frome Times the campaign group said, “We believe this is a poor proposal that will disrupt and damage Frome. The town deserves better – there are many good reasons to object.”

The group also listed their reasons for objecting in a report highlighting the following concerns:-

“Traffic; Christchurch Street East, a main town route, is likely to become severely congested. There are plans to use Vicarage Street for completely inappropriate night deliveries. Pollution from cars and lorries will inevitably increase. Deliveries, traffic and air conditioning will cause lots of noise for adjoining houses and businesses.

“Poor links with the existing town centre; No real attempt has been made to link the new retail park with the centre of Frome. Getting to the new retail park from the centre of town will mean crossing a new double road by M&S. The narrow, unsafe route along King Street will be unchanged.

“It will look awful; The supermarket will sit 3.5 metres above the nearest road, and you will have to use a travelator to get in and out. There are plans to build a noise-excluding wall along the car park edge. This is Frome, not Milton Keynes!

“Loss of trade for existing shops and businesses; The proposed supermarket will take considerable trade from independent town-centre shops, and not just those that sell food.

“The size of the supermarket and shops is too big; The supermarket will come with 258 parking spaces, and dominate not just the retail park, but the whole of Frome town centre. The surrounding retail units will dwarf existing shops. Frontier’s plan doesn’t make the best of the river, trees and green space.”