Stay connected

Issue 491 – Major redevelopment plans come under the spotlight

Multi-million pound plans to redevelop part of Frome to cater for more affordable housing and sheltered housing have been submitted to the local planning authority.

Flourish Homes, formerly known as Mendip Housing Association, is planning the redevelopment, which will see more affordable homes built in the area around Singers Knoll and Randolph Road.
The plans, which are currently in the hands of Mendip District Council, comprise 54 homes currently on the site being razed to the ground and 99 new homes and a 36-unit extra care scheme to link with the Gorehedge sheltered housing scheme built in their place.
The scheme, which could cost up to £16 million, will double the number of affordable homes available to rent to people in housing need and will include a number for ‘intermediate’ rent. These are homes where the weekly rent is about 80 percent lower than the usual market rent for private rented homes.
“This is an exciting project which will offer Frome a real boost in the number of affordable rented homes available to people in housing need,” said Alan Brunt, managing director of Flourish Homes, which is a member of the Aster Group.
“This is our biggest redevelopment plan to date and the tenants who live in those homes have been very patient with us as we worked to bring this project to life. The credit crunch crushed our original idea of entering into a partnership with a developer to build the homes at no cost to Flourish Homes in exchange for the extra homes built. So this is a major investment for us as a housing association and our Aster Group team, which develop homes on behalf of Flourish Homes, is working hard to attract funding from the Homes and Communities Agency to build the homes.”
A project group of tenants and staff, led by Randolph Road resident Brent Milverton, is working to bring the plan to fruition. Tenants were involved in the selection of Westbury Partnerships, which is working with Flourish Homes to design and build the new estate.

Extra Care Sheltered Housing

Flourish Homes say the concept is to “provide independent living for older people in self-contained dwellings in a secure and supportive environment.”
The extra care site is approximately 0.4 hectares in size located to the southeast of Frome’s town centre. Accessed via Signers Knoll the site is situated at the end of Randolph Road.
According to the plans, the extra care housing will provide 36 two-bed flats for the elderly residents with three of these flats dedicated for residents with dementia. All 36 flats benefit from shared communal facilities comprising: cafe / dining room, lounge, laundry, hairdresser, consulting room, and staff facilities.
A total of approximately ten staff, including kitchen staff, will be employed depending on the level and extent of care to be provided to residents.
A spokesperson for Flourish Homes commented, “The extra care housing will provide much-needed accommodation and facilities for the elderly of Frome, many of whom live near the site.
“We believe the scheme will not only provide a secure and enriching environment for its service users, elderly residents, relatives, staff, and visitors alike, but also provide a building of high quality, variety and aspiration that will contribute significantly to the surrounding townscape.”