Documents

The submission can be found on Mendip District Council’s website here

There are TEN documents wrapped in the 4 links on the MDC site, unwrapping them gives these separate sections (starred are key docs);

1. Planning Representation – Grassroots – 47 pages. ***

2. Highways – Vectos – 28 pages. ***

3. Landscape Assessment – NVB – 30 pages. Viewpoints from pg. 19 – see also blog article.

4. Landscape diagrams – NVB

5. Flood Risk – Vectos – 19 pages.

6. Ecological constraints – Grassroots – 13 pages.

7. Emerging Masterplan – NVB – 1 page. ***

8. Development Vision – NVB & Grassroots – 21 pages.

9. Vision drawings & diagrams – NVB – 6 pages. – page 2 shows phasing plan.

10. Historic analysis – Armour Heritage – 126 pages – don’t bother to read!

As listed on MDC site;

A.  (170 pages) http://www.mendip.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=17908&p=0

B. (23 pages) http://www.mendip.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=17909&p=0

C. (61 pages) http://www.mendip.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=17910&p=0

D. (134 pages) http://www.mendip.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=17911&p=0

total 388 pages

The Vision part of the document is here.

The Vision

Extracts

We are promoting a new garden village of circa 1,800 – 2,200 homes, employment land and other supporting infrastructure south of Frome and this is known as Selwood Garden Village.

We … advocate that if the Part 2 Plan is to proceed it should either seek to allocate Selwood Garden Village to deliver circa 1,800 – 2,200 homes and extensive new employment land, or alternatively, it should defer the adoption of any proposal for the town until a comprehensive masterplan is agreed that shows how large scale development will be holistically planned in a way so that all new development contributes towards large scale infrastructure whilst also creating a distinct sense of place.

… we have significant concerns that progressing the Part 2 allocations as they are, as a short-term fix for five-year housing supply purposes, will undermine the ability to create a much more effectively planned strategic-scale development that can address the town’s development needs for many years to come.

Planning positively for a Garden Village south of Frome is a golden opportunity for the council to address these emerging [housing] issues.

… it is essential for the emerging Part 2 Plan and Plan Review to grapple with the higher housing requirements now in order to start to better address this identified unmet need.

By allowing small-scale sites to come forward within Part 2, prior to a more holistic approach to masterplanning and infrastructure provision being agreed, this will result in piecemeal development that does not appropriately contribute to infrastructure and design decisions. This may then prejudice the delivery of the larger scale development that will be required to meet the higher housing numbers that are now needed.

In order to help Frome become more self-contained and reduce the level of out-commuting to cities such as Bath, the Local Plan Part 2 should seek to be aspirational and provide a larger amount of employment allocations than currently envisaged, particularly in Frome.

we consider that Frome is an appropriate location for large scale strategic growth. In fact, in our view, given the recent development that has occurred in the other towns in Mendip, it offers the only credible location for much needed housing growth to meet the increased housing requirements we have identified.

.The proposed development has been designed to be both a self-sufficient community in terms of everyday needs, but one which can also harness and support the existing facilities within Frome Town. In such a way we consider that it constitutes a Garden Village proposal.

.a further call for ‘expressions of interest’ for new Garden Settlement proposals will be made in the Spring 2018.

We would like to work with Mendip District Council to ensure that an application for funding is made for the benefit of achieving a high quality and inclusive community at South Frome, and also to help the council in accessing priority funding for affordable housing delivery.

 

Land issues – We have gained agreement with the majority of land owners in this area to work collaboratively. Currently there is an agreement in place between the landowners of approximately 75% of the proposed strategic site and this includes a commitment to delivering a comprehensive development on an equalised basis. Landowners that do not want to be involved centre around the hamlet of Blatchbridge and they have been removed from the wider proposals and appropriate buffer zones to this land have been provided.

 

It is proposed to comprehensively develop 161 hectares of land south of the existing urban area of Frome to provide:

  • Circa 23 hectares of commercial land
  • New schools
  • A new Local Centre that will accommodate small scale convenience shopping, an office ‘hub’, community meeting space and other uses
  • Large areas of Green Infrastructure supporting new habitats, extensive parkland areas and new playing pitches
  • New roads including a new roundabout junction off the A361 (Ski Jump Hill) and internal road network that will provide a new link between South Frome and the A361 to avoid the Blatchbridge area.

..the optimal location for a new local centre and education provision would lie in close proximity to a new junction to the A361 which will serve the land.

This means that the first phase of the proposed strategic development would logically start in and around the new local centre to the west of Blatchbridge Road (B3092).

A separate Strategic Landscape and Visual Appraisal supports the masterplan produced
the SLVA sets out that ….the site can accommodate the scale of development proposed without causing significant adverse impacts on the wider landscape.
Trees that exist within the site are yet to be fully assessed by an arboriculturalist and this will be undertaken as part of more detailed design work that will shortly commence.

Ecology

Generally, the site consists of improved and semi-improved agricultural land which is of limited ecological interest. …the appointed ecologist … has confirmed that in their view the development would not give rise to significant adverse effects if appropriate mitigation measures are adopted.

The masterplan responds to heritage influences in the following ways:
New roadway connection to bypass will allow us to downgrade the route through Blatchbridge thereby improving the setting of the Cross Keys pub

We therefore propose that the Part 2 Plan grasps this opportunity and seeks to allocate Selwood Garden Village for development in the emerging plan. This should be comprehensively developed in conjunction with the land that has already been identified in the pre-submission version of the emerging plan.

 

the Council’s response to the ‘Planning for the right homes in the right places: consultation proposals’ (September 2017) suggests that they currently do not fully agree with the emerging figures and that they should not apply until 2020.. we do not agree with the council’s response to this consultation.

if the council insist that Part 2 needs to be progressed without tackling this issue we would suggest that specific allocations of land at Frome are removed from the process until such a time that the overall housing, employment land and other land uses are holistically and comprehensively master planned

Transport issues

The south Frome development would deliver as a single entity a greater opportunity for a fully integrated and succinct community, maximising the potential uptake of sustainable travel, that smaller and piecemeal development could not seek to achieve.

.. there are a number of key pedestrian desire lines and routes through the existing area south of Frome. The existing urban form is very conducive to walking with footways running adjacent most residential roads and many lightly trafficked or car free routes within the historic areas.

Frome Railway Station is located to the north east of the development site, accessed by the Portway and is within walk and cycle distance of the site.

the location of these new developments will have a major impact on future patterns of travel demand, and in determining the extent to which this is car based. Careful site selection and adequate investment in accessibility by public transport and on foot and cycle should be a priority in new developments

38%, of residents live and work in Frome … this attribute contributes towards Frome being considered as a sustainable location for significant new development.

The total Mobility network within Frome and the wider area is not under significant load stress. There is already ample capacity for easy movement at the busiest times.

Frome has a comprehensive network of roads throughout the town, with the key routes radiating from the town centre and a bypass to the south and east.

Of relevance to development south of Frome are the following localised areas where traffic issues, of some order, occur:

The B3092 corridor:

  • Weight limit due to restricted width of carriageway – operational issue;
  • Keyford / Lock’s Hill traffic signals – constrained junction geometry;
  • Lock’s Hill / Portway traffic signals – Portway corridor subject to localised congestion and some delay.
  • Weight limit due to restricted width of carriageway – operational issue; Keyford / Lock’s Hill traffic signals – constrained junction geometry;
  • Lock’s Hill / Portway traffic signals – Portway corridor subject to localised congestion and some delay.

At a strategic level a comprehensive package of works could manage and better control and freeflow of traffic along the B3090 [The Butts, Marston Road] and B3092 [Culverhill, Blatchbridge] corridors such that journey times became more consistent and reliable. However, the down side of this would be to increase the attractiveness of intra-town trips via the town centre as opposed to using the bypass. Therefore, addressing these two corridors also requires consideration of traffic through the centre itself – Market Place – and maintain, at worst, the status quo of trips through the centre.

It is proposed to metre and control the flow of traffic from Sainsbury’s to the top of Bath Street by the replacement of the following junction with traffic signals:

  • Marston Road / Mason’s Way roundabout;
  • The Butts / Rossiter’s Road;
  • Butts Hill / Christchurch Street East priority junction;
  • Bath Street / Christchurch Street West roundabout.

Little Keyford Lane

The northern access would be via a continuation of Little Keyford Lane in to the site. It is proposed that the direction of priority of the Mount Pleasant junction with Culverhill would be reversed with the Lethbridge [Blatchbridge?] Road serving as a side arm to the junction and as a cul-de-sac to vehicular traffic.

Feltham Lane
The eastern connection would be via a continuation of Feltham Lane in to the scheme.

Lethbridge [Blatchbridge?] to A361
This link would diverge from the current road alignment by the Cross Keys public house with the old road to the north becoming a cul-de-sac to vehicular traffic.

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