In support of Mayday Saxonvale

On Wednesday 17th August, the Mendip District Council Planning Board will meet to discuss Mayday Saxonvale’s development plan. The officer recommendation to the Planning Board is that they should refuse the application.

Independents for Frome and Frome Town Council fully support Mayday Saxonvale, and firmly believe it is the right plan for this site.

On Wednesday night our Deputy Chair of Frome Town Council’s Planning Group, IfF councillor Andy Jones will speak strongly in support of Mayday Saxonvale. This is what he will say:

“Good evening, I’m Andy Jones, Deputy Chair of Frome Town Council Planning group. Steve Tanner is on holiday so I am delivering this statement on behalf of Frome Town Council.

Saxonvale is the only brownfield site of any significance remaining in the centre of our town, and as such is the last and final chance we have to provide employment space where it belongs, in the heart of Frome, to serve the needs of our growing population. This is a site unlike any other in Frome, and as such it needs a development plan unlike any other. 

Mayday Saxonvale offers us that plan to provide a vibrant and thriving retail, hospitality and commercial extension of our town centre – one that will revitalise our local economy, and help keep the potential of our young people, and their economic, social and creative power within our town and district. It will provide space for the small businesses nurtured within Frome to grow and to thrive. 

There will be many more developments in Frome over the next few years which will impact the shape and character of our town. These developments will mostly be heavily residential, as they should be, and will increase the size of our working population. But we cannot continue to build houses without also offering more employment opportunities, or we risk becoming a dormitory town – as people leave during the day to seek employment elsewhere, leaving our shopping streets empty, and our cafes quiet. Mayday Saxonvale will support this future development and the economic future of Frome and the surrounding area

Yes, there are fewer commercial new homes than would be ideal, but the Mayday proposal offers 40% affordable homes, matching the number that Acorn is proposing, and the homes provided are those that Frome desperately needs, affordable starter homes for young people keen to begin their productive adult lives without having to commute daily to work miles out of town, and without having to leave the town they grew up in.

The people of Frome can see all of this – and are passionate about this development. From our conversations with people on the streets before the May elections, the unprecedented 1300 comments of support on this application, and the continued vocal championship of this design – they have made their feelings very clear: Frome wants Mayday Saxonvale. It is the right plan for this site. And we, at Frome Town Council, agree and share their enthusiasm. It is so refreshing and exciting to see a design that puts the needs of the community before the pockets of the developers. It is offering us the chance to aim higher – to do more than just build houses, but to build communities, and a thriving town centre. 

This could easily become a blueprint for further developments in the region and indeed around the country, and would be a wonderful lasting legacy to Mendip District Council….

The Mayday Saxonvale plan is the right plan for this space, and on that basis I urge you to look past the officer’s recommendation and approve this application.”

If you agree with us, and would like to see Mayday Saxonvale’s ambitious, community-centred, no-profit plan brought to life then please email the Planning Board ahead of Wednesday’s meeting. You can find details of how to do so on Mayday Saxonvale’s website.


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