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Future of Saxonvale

Mendip District Council is determined to invest in Frome's future and as such we took a bold and unusual move earlier in the year in buying the long-time empty site in Frome Town Centre locally known as Saxonvale for regeneration.

The Council purchased two adjacent plots of land that were owned by Notts Industries and Terramond, which combined amounts to around 9.2 acres of land. 

The Council has exchanged a conditional contract for the phased sale of Saxonvale to a developer to regenerate the derelict Frome Town Centre site. 

Acorn Property Group will now work with the Council and other stakeholders to produce a masterplan for development of the site.  The plan is to deliver a high quality commercial and urban living development, which will provide a mix of uses, and accommodation to help satisfy current housing demand.  Acorn has over 20 years of experience of successfully creating a range of residential led refurbishment and new build schemes, specialising in bespoke developments to meet local community need.

The vision for Saxonvale is; 'A generational opportunity to deliver an exemplar development on the banks of the River Frome. High quality design taking the historic grain of Frome as its starting point, and delivering a vibrant, mixed use neighbourhood, with flexible commercial/ employment space, high quality public realm, and homes for all ages'.

- The overarching principle of the vision is to create a vibrant, high quality and sustainable development.

Acorn will now work on the planning process and take the vision to the next stage.

For more information or if you have any questions please visit:  https://saxonvaleredevelopment.org.

Read more about Saxonvale Second Public Consultation and emerging plan

Read more about the call out for interest in commercial space at Saxonvale

Read more about Acorn Property Group to present initial proposals

Read more about Council Announces Purchaser for Frome Town Centre Site, Saxonvale

Read more about Council plans to regenerate 'derelict' Frome Town Centre site.

Read more about Redevelopment of Saxonvale

Last modified: 18 February 2019
  • Q:

    Redevelopment of Saxonvale

    A:

    Mendip District Council is determined to invest in Frome's future and as such we have taken a bold and unusual move in buying the long-time empty site in Frome Town Centre locally known as Saxonvale for regeneration.

  • Q:

    How much did it cost the Council to buy the site?

    A:

    The Council were advised by Cushman & Wakefield, an expert firm of property advisers, in the acquisition of the site. Cushman & Wakefield advised that the terms and conditions were in line with the market, and reflected the opportunity that the site presents.

  • Q:

    Did you use any consultants to come to the decision to buy the site?

    A:

    Yes, Cushman & Wakefield and Ashford LLP solicitors supported the Council in the acquisition of the site, and advised the Council. The Council also worked with Arup, an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists, to develop the vision and design principles.

  • Q:

    What is the Vision?

    A:

    The vision for Saxonvale is: A generational opportunity to deliver an exemplar development on the banks of the River Frome. High quality design taking the historic grain of Frome as its starting point, and delivering a vibrant, mixed use neighbourhood, with flexible commercial/ employment space, high quality public realm, and homes for all ages.

  • Q:

    What are the aims?

    A:

    The Council would like to see a high quality scheme that Frome can be proud of and adds to the vitality of the Town.

  • Q:

    What is going to be built on the site?

    A:

    The plan is to deliver a high quality commercial and urban living development, which will provide mixed uses, and accommodation to help satisfy current housing demand. A public consultation process will be completed as part of the planning process.

  • Q:

    When will the building work commence?

    A:

    The building work will commence once detailed planning consent for the site has been obtained.

  • Q:

    Are you in contact with Frome Town Council and Somerset County Council?

    A:

    Yes, there is ongoing engagement Frome Town Council and Somerset County Council.

  • Q:

    How many houses are planned?

    A:

    This will be considered as part of the master planning work that Acorn Property Group are undertaking.

  • Q:

    How much affordable housing will there be?

    A:

    The Council would like to see affordable housing provided and this will be addressed as part of the planning process.

  • Q:

    Will this affect Merchants Barton car park?

    A:

    The current intention is that the Council's existing landholding, Merchant's Barton car park, will be included in the regeneration scheme to allow us to provide the best possible outcome for Frome. We will seek to re-provide any lost car parking.

  • Q:

    Is the site secure?

    A:

    We have secured the site and have a contractor who monitors the site 24/7.

  • Q:

    How will it be funded? Will that impact on my Council tax?

    A:

    Several sources of public or private finance will be considered at the appropriate time. The Council expects the project to make a financial return so council taxes will not need to rise as a result of this project.

  • Q:

    What progress has been made so far?

    A:

    Since announcing the purchase of the land in August 2018, the Council has been having conversations with Frome Town Council and other key stakeholders in Frome.

  • Q:

    Who are Acorn?

    A:

    Acorn is an independent development and regeneration group of companies that has for over 20 years successfully created a range of residential led refurbishment and new build schemes.

  • Q:

    Why Acorn? / Has the Council considered / spoken to other developers?

    A:

    The Council were keen to ensure that this derelict and underused town centre site is developed as soon as possible.

  • Q:

    What green space will we have?

    A:

    The Council's vision includes provision of green space and making the most of the site's riverside location. This will be reflected in the emerging masterplan that Acorn is developing.

  • Q:

    What about congestion in Frome?

    A:

    This will be taken account of in the emerging masterplan that Acorn is developing and engagement will take place with Somerset County Council Highways as part of the planning process.

  • Q:

    Have the road layouts and footpaths been agreed?

    A:

    No, this will be looked at as part of the emerging masterplan and will be revised throughout the process as per the public consultation.

  • Q:

    Will you use compulsory purchase?

    A:

    There are no plans to use compulsory purchase.

  • Q:

    How will the development link with the town centre to contribute to its vitality?

    A:

    As part of its vision the Council is expecting the development to link seamlessly with the town centre, with easy permeability through the site. This is being considered as part of the emerging masterplan that Acorn is developing.

  • Q:

    What are the next steps?

    A:

    The Council has now entered into a Sales and Overage Agreement (SOA) with Acorn. Together with their architects, Acorn has worked on an emerging masterplan for the site which reflects the Council's vision and sets out shared design principles for the redevelopment of the site. Acorn is now using this to develop the masterplan for consultation. Next steps will be a public consultation which will inform the final masterplan and planning application.

  • Q:

    Who are Nash Partnership

    A:

    Nash Partnership is the firm of architects who have helped develop the emerging masterplan and will work with Acorn to develop the masterplan and planning application for the site.

  • Q:

    What is a Sale and Overage Agreement (SOA)?

    A:

  • Q:

    Why hasn't the Council consulted with the public?

    A:

    There has been early engagement with immediate residents, businesses and key stakeholders.

  • Q:

    Does the masterplan reflect exactly what is being developed?

    A:

    No, this will be looked at as part of the emerging masterplan and will be revised throughout the process as per the public consultation.

  • Q:

    When and where will I be able to view the masterplan?

    A:

  • Q:

    When is the development going to planning?

    A:

    Acorn hope to submit an application in early Summer 2019.

  • Q:

    I am interested in a commercial space, how do I register my interest?

    A:

    If you are interested in leasing a commercial unit, early contact is recommended.

  • Q:

    Is land owned by Frome Town Council included in the development?

    A:

    Frome Town Council have indicated that they would like to be part of this project, however as yet no firm decisions have been made.

  • Q:

    How do I comment?

    A:

    The Planning Application Process allows for you to comment on the application.

  • Q:

    How do we get more information?

    A: