Stay connected

Councillors object to “totally speculative” plan for 150 houses in Marston Lane

TOWN councillors have unanimously agreed to object to plans proposed by Gleeson Strategic Land Ltd, to build 150 houses on land on the western side of Marston Lane, describing them as “utterly and totally speculative” and “not sustainable.” This was met with a round of applause from around 35 residents in attendance. 

The council raised concerns about the location of the proposed development, outside the development limits of Frome as set out in the Mendip District Council Local Plan; that it is not economically sustainable, offering little infrastructure to support the growth of the town; its impact on the environment, explaining that the proposals will involve the destruction of a large area ‘rich in wildlife’; the site’s location, which is not in walking distance of many local services; and the impact on local traffic, particularly Marston Lane. 

Chair of the Frome Town Council planning committee, cllr Steve Tanner said, “We thought that the application was purely speculative in its nature and that it would impact greatly on the landscape of Frome as you enter from the west – it is outside the town boundary and there was a huge strength of feeling amongst residents and councillors of all tiers against this opportunist development, which would give nothing back to the town. We would now urge that Mendip District Council planning committee now support our decision and themselves object strongly to this application.  This is simply not good enough for Frome.”

At the meeting, cllr Mark Dorrington said that he felt developers were trying to ‘cash in’ on recent publicity in the national press that hailed Frome as one of the best places to live in the UK.  

“There doesn’t seem to be any care that the town is already overdeveloped,” said cllr Dorrington. “We can’t get GP appointments, there are no NHS dentists in the town that are taking applications at the moment. 

“So, the very reasons that Frome is the ‘best place to live’ are being destroyed by these developments.” 

Residents at the meeting echoed the concerns of the town council, urging the town council to object. 

One resident described the application as ‘insulting’; with another describing it as having “no substance and adding no value to the town”. 

“There will be more cars, more people clogging up our services,” said another local, “the whole town will become overloaded. This is just to make money for Gleeson.” 

Representatives for the planning and urban design consultants working for Gleeson Land, explained that Mendip District Council’s lack of a five-year land supply gives them ‘legitimacy’ in pursuing the application, describing Frome as “one of the principal housing developments in Mendip”. 

The plans are expected to be discussed by Mendip District Council in the coming months.  

Leave a Reply

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