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Appeal submitted for housing development after planning refusal

AN appeal has been submitted to Mendip District Council after a housing development on the former Mendip Lodge Hotel site was rejected. 

Latona Leisure have launched the appeal as they want to build eight new four and five bedroom detached houses on Bath Road on the northern edge of Frome.

The original planning application was refused in August 2014 with four reasons cited:

• Risks to the large trees protected by Tree Preservation Order, and the area’s character officer had “major concerns” and doubted the TPO trees could be protected;

• The mix and type of houses not meeting identified local needs;

• The scale, mass and height of the dwellings not reflecting the character and appearance of the area;

• The lack of adequate provision for public recreational open space and affordable housing.

Latona Leisure have prepared a ‘statement of case’ to rebut these reasons as part of their appeal and they propose revisions  to the development layout in order to avoid impacts on the TPO trees, including reducing the size of some of the houses.

Mendip District and Frome Town Councillor Adam Boyden feels the site should be developed without unnecessary delay and that provisions regarding the trees and a safe crossing point of Bath Road should be made.

He said, “I understand that residents of the already built phase one development at the former Mendip Lodge Hotel site are generally very happy with the planning application in principle and would like the development built  as soon as possible. Currently the site is derelict and an eyesore with various materials on site, and detracts from the area.

“I was concerned at the impact of the planning application on the major TPO protected trees on site, due to the proposed building within Root Protection Areas, and agreed with the concerns of the Mendip District Council tree officer at the time. The revisions to the proposals as set out in the appellant’s Statement of Case appear to overcome these objections by reducing the size of the dwellings. I would like to see the tree officer’s comments and hope that this issue can now be resolved through amendments to the plans.

“Most importantly I remain concerned that the development gives rise to a need for a safe pedestrian crossing to be provided across Bath Road, including a suitable length of footpath, to enable pedestrian access between the site and the rest of Frome.”

The planning appeal hearing is to be held in the Mendip District Council Chamber, Cannards Grave Road, Shepton Mallet, on Tuesday 31st March, starting at 10am. Official notification letters will be sent at the beginning of March giving full details to all interested parties.

The planning reference number for the proposal is 2014/0981/FUL and the appeal reference is APP/Q3305/W/14/3001194.