Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Mayday Saxonvale campaign to produce alternate plan for site

Story posted on

CAMPAIGNERS against the current plans to redevelop the Saxonvale site have engaged with architects to produce an alternate plan for the site.

The ‘Mayday Saxonvale’  campaign says that their alternative masterplan will demonstrate that the future use of Saxonvale can be‘socially inclusive’ and ‘environmentally responsible’.

Earlier this year, the campaign described the current plans by Mendip District Council as ‘horrendous’ and ‘designed to make sizable profitable returns back to the district council’.

The campaign was launched by the directors of the Silk Mill Studios and Gallery who called into question the contract between Mendip District Council and the developers of the Saxonvale site.

They believe that Acorn Property Group and Nash Partnership Architects were ‘secretly appointed’ to the Saxonvale project – breaching procurement legislation, which requires public authorities to have a fair, open and transparent tendering process. 

Director of the Silk Mill, Damon Moore said, “The Silk Mill will shortly be launching a new social benefit organisation to offer a viable and alternative future for Saxonvale.

“Mayday Saxonvale will be incorporated as a social enterprise, limited by guarantee with the aim of showing how a socially inclusive and environmentally responsible plan can be realised for this controversial site. 

“Registration either as a supporter or member of this new community organisation will be open to everyone. The Silk Mill has engaged Andrew Kirby Architects to lead a masterplanning and local investor exercise, showing how the cornerstones of Frome’s local development plan can be properly protected and even expanded.  AK.A have a considerable reputation in the field of sustainable and community-focussed architecture in the south-west and were instrumental in delivering the Atmos co-housing project in Totnes.”

On the current plans from Acorn, Damon Moore added, “It is striking how few major modifications they have made to their scheme in response to considerable alarm bells rung for months by consultees, both formal and public.  

“The reason for this is Acorn are constrained by the developer’s contract which according to evidence produced by the Silk Mill, was unlawfully signed. This evidence has recently been accepted by the General Regulatory Chamber in our appeal for full disclosure of the contract. Until this document is released into the public realm and its terms made fully open and transparent, we cannot know what the district council has actually agreed, therefore our legal campaign continues.

“Our hope is Acorn’s contract will soon be annulled as it should be,  that the district council will stop spending significant sums of rate-payers’ money mounting a doomed defence against disclosure and start doing what is right and in the public interest. 

“We can put an end to all the arguments over Saxonvale as we believe there is a way for Frome as a town to rally around a new possibility for this critically important regeneration site. We hope as well, that Mendip District Council will play its part in writing this new story, one we can all be proud of and have played a part in achieving.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *