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Mendip to decide on Saxonvale superstore

THE future of the disused Saxonvale site will again be called into question next month, when Mendip District Council decides on Frontier’s application to build a  retail park.

On Wednesday 16th September the application – which has attracted over 500 comments on Mendip District Council’s website – will be decided by the district planning board. The application has been met with strong opposition in Frome and a number of local organisations, including Frome Town Council, have recommended that Mendip reject the proposal.

Member of campaign group Keep Frome Local, Katy Duke said, “Basically all the key organisations in town agree that the Frontier scheme needs to be refused, and we’ve worked really hard for this result. I’m optimistic as they have ample quality planning grounds for refusal.

“If it did get approval it wouldn’t get built as it’s an outmoded development type – no-one is building superstores now, so the site would continue to be undeveloped. It would be a lost opportunity to properly expand the town centre in a regenerative way.”

A joint recommendation for rejection was issued by Frome Town Council alongside Frome & District Civic Society, Frome & District Chamber of Commerce, and campaign group Keep Frome Local.

The statement reads, “The Frontier proposal is a model past its sell-by date. Since 2013 the retail sector has changed; the proposed supermarket is simply not viable.

“If outline consent was granted it would blight Saxonvale. It would not be built. It would prevent any other developer trying to proceed with any other scheme, whether for the whole or part of the site.”

The brief gives a number of reasons for refusal including that the application is out of keeping with government plans for the area, and that there are a lot of access and transport issues which would be detrimental to the town.

Frontier’s will be the third major application for the site to be decided on in the past 18 months. Previous proposals for housing from  developers Terramond and McCarthy & Stone were rejected by the district authority.

Frontier’s outline application includes a foodstore, non-food retail, restaurants, offices, hotel, education, car parking and open public space.

To see more details of the application search planning application 2013/2260/OTS at www.mendip.gov.uk.

Keep Frome Local is looking to arrange a coach for local people to attend the meeting at Mendip’s offices in Shepton Mallet. They can be contacted via Facebook or keepfromelocal@gmail.com