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Issue 307 – Major Frome redevelopment is a step closer

Outline plans to expand Frome’s town centre and then redevelop a large area of semi-derelict land between Garsdale and Saxonvale have been given a seal of approval from the local planning authority, Mendip District Council.

The approval is a significant step forward for the plans which, if accepted, will result in the biggest regeneration project Frome will have seen for decades.
Mendip District Council’s planning committee voted to approve the outline plans at a meeting on Wednesday 4th August, subject to various legal and Section 106 agreements being negotiated with the developers, Terramond.
The site in question consists of 11.9 acres of land on the east side of Frome town centre. The plans include up to 350 residential units being built, as well as shops, financial and professional services, restaurants, cafes, and bars.
The residential units will be built in a mixture of dwelling types ranging from one, two and three bed flats and sheltered accommodation for the over 55s to three and four bed houses.
A single building will be retained within the application site – the Notts Mill – which includes the Grade II listed Notts office building. All other buildings, which the district council says are of poor quality, except the Notts office/warehouse, will be demolished. The retained Notts Mill will be used for shops, financial services, restaurant and café and drinking establishment uses at ground floor and upper floors fronting the main public square but with the remainder of the building converted to residential use.

Open space

A large area of open space for public use has been retained along the southern boundary of the river Frome. An “informal riverside walkway” will be provided adjacent to the River Frome, along with a play space. A further area of open space is proposed within the central area of the site running north-south. The commercial area of the site will also include a large formal public square and two smaller areas of open space adjacent to the converted buildings and the replacement Cooper Bussman building and within the south western area of the application site.
Various stakeholder events have taken place over the past two years with council officers, the East Mendip Community Partnership, South West Design Review Panel and the Mendip Conservation Advisory Panel. A series of exhibitions and meetings were held between September 2007 and August 2009 and a 3D model was prepared and exhibited in Frome Library and taken to consultation meetings. Changes were made to the scheme in March and September 2009 in response to comments.