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Frome town council steps in to try and save play park

FROME Town Council is looking to buy the freehold of a play park at Tower View in a bid to save it from development. 

The play area on the Mount Estate is currently owned by Mendip District Council who have told residents they plan to sell the land, leaving residents in fear that they may lose their only play area.

Mendip offered it to Frome Town Council for a six-figure sum, equivalent to its commercial value for building houses.

This angered residents who feel it should not have been offered at commercial value as the land is not suitable for building work. This has led to residents setting up a petition and hosting a public meeting in a bid to gather support in opposing the plans.

The community hopes the ownership of the land can be transferred to Frome Town Council, with a payment to assist with ongoing costs that Mendip District Council will save by disposing of it.

That now seems a step closer as Frome Town Council has agreed to try and take on the play area. Town clerk, Paul Wynne, has sent an email to Mendip District Council confirming their request to have freehold of the land with a dowry payment.

If the request goes ahead it would also allow the Mount Community Association to make improvements to the play equipment which they had planned to do before Mendip announced their plans. Previously the community had raised over £10,000 for improvements but that now hangs in the balance.

In a position statement the Mount Community Association group said, “Tower View open space is a vital community asset located in the heart of the Mount Estate in south-east Frome. It is used by children and young people and community activities and events are held here. It is located opposite the primary school and our community garden.

“We recently learned that Mendip’s corporate asset management group agreed to offer it to Frome Town Council for a six figure sum, equivalent to its commercial value as a site for building houses.

“We wish the area to be transferred with immediate effect to Frome Town Council. This transfer should be at no cost to Frome Town Council and ought to be accompanied with a payment to Frome Town Council, to assist with ongoing costs that Mendip District Council will save by disposing of it. We believe that any proposal to sell the area for a commercial value is immoral and indeed a corruption of duty on the part of our District Council that is established to serve the public interest. We are sufficiently incensed to consider raising the matter with the local authority Ombudsman.

“We call for the speedy transfer of the area to Frome Town Council, so that we may proceed with the improvement of the area for the benefit of local children and young people. We believe the land is of no development value; it has never been allocated as potential site for new housing. We will not allow the area to be built on and wish to see it allocated as a Local Green Space and officially protected as a recreational asset of value to the community.”

To sign the petition that residents have set up visit