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Frome Town Council to take over management of Showfield

Mendip District Council is to proceed with the surrender of its leases for the Frome Showfield site.

This will enable Frome Town Council to maintain and enhance the site as a community asset and to give local residents more direct control over the popular open space.

Mendip’s Cabinet agreed in October 2013 to transfer the two leases over the 20-acre site, which are on a 99-year term at a peppercorn rate and include the clause ‘to keep the premises as public open space for recreational purposes for the benefit of the inhabitants of Frome’.

However, transferring the management of the site needed the consent of Frome and District Agricultural Society, as landlord, and this has been held up as a result of a Town Green application.

Over the last year negotiations have progressed to the current position where, following the district council’s surrender of the leases to Frome and District Agricultural Society, the town council will purchase the main part of the site and continue to lease the two parcels of land at the rear of the site.

Concurrently, Frome Recreational Open Ground Supporters (FROGS), the applicants for the town green application, are expected to seek consent from Somerset County Council to withdraw their application.

As a result of these successful negotiations, Mendip Council’s Corporate Asset Management Group has now agreed to proceed with the transfer of the leases, subject to approval from the Frome and District Agricultural Society.

The town council will work with Mendip’s planning team to release more than £44,000 of Section 106 money to improve the showfield, and will also take on the maintenance of the site and the equipment on it.

Cllr John Parham, portfolio holder for Governance, Assets and Public Spaces said, “This process has taken longer than all parties would have liked, but I’m pleased to say that we now appear to be close to a successful resolution which will benefit the people of Frome.

“The transfer of the leases will empower the local community to have more direct control over this important community asset and Frome Town Council is keen to enhance the showground for local people.”

 

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