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2,000 home ‘garden village’ rejected by district council

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THE proposal for a ‘Selwood Garden Village’, comprising of 2,000 new homes, has been labelled as ‘premature’ and will not be part of Mendip District Council’s housing plans for Frome.

The plan, produced by NVB Architects and Grassroots Planning who represent the landowners, proposed 2,000 homes over 161 hectares on land south of Frome, including The Mount and Little Keyford areas. 

The ‘garden village’ was submitted as a proposed modification to Mendip District Council’s  Local Plan Part 2, during a public consultation last year. It suggested that a larger development with a supportive infrastructure would better benefit the town, rather than the small parcels of land offered for development in the plan with no infrastructure.

The proposal for the ‘garden village’ had sparked concerns amongst residents of Little Keyford about the impact it would have on their community and the town. In the report about the proposed changes to the Local Plan Part 2, cllr Nigel Woollcombe-Adams said, “The Selwood Garden Village (SGV) proposals submitted for a substantial extension of the town (1,500+ dwellings) are considered premature. There has been limited consultation and engagement on this proposal to date, no detailed sustainability appraisal or discussion of infrastructure implications. Other proposals have been put forward for extensions to Frome and these should form part of future engagement on options for Frome after Local Plan Part 2. 

“In principle, there is a logic in merging the allocations (FRO150a – Land South of Keyford Field; FRO150 – Land East of The Mount; and FRO001 – Land at Keyford Field) as this would support a ‘master planned’ approach and discourage piecemeal ‘field by field’ development.”

However, representatives of the ‘Selwood Garden Village’ have said that they will be continuing with their plans and will be hosting an ‘extensive consultation’ later this year. 

Director at NVB Architects, Andrew Simpson, told Frome Times, “Our proposals were too late for inclusion in the Part 2 allocation, so Mendip District Council’s response is fully understandable. 

“The primary aim of our submission was to identify that piecemeal development was not serving Frome well, and that a more comprehensive plan that delivers wider infrastructure benefits should be considered as part of the plan review, which is due to commence this year. 

“As part of that process, extensive consultation, including public engagement, will occur in spring/summer 2019.”

According to the Mendip Local Plan Part 2 timetable, the plan with any modifications accepted by the cabinet, will be submitted to the Secretary of State and published on the Mendip District Council website by Sunday 20th January.

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