Housing need

“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.”

This statement by the consortium is quite different from that of the Planning Authority, Mendip District Council who have set out housing targets based on government requirements. See document S4 on the Local Plan consultation.

Table H1 on page 8 shows progress with housebuilding & the 5 year trajectory is on page 14. The updated figures are in the ‘Provisional Housing Trajectory‘ document, showing 1741 houses required to 2029, of which 323 are to be ‘affordable’.

Section 10, the Settlements Policy for Mendip towns, sets out the development plans, on page 4 are the 8 sites proposed for development in Frome & the ‘Future Growth Area’ between Birchill Lane & Feltham Lane is to be deleted from the policies map (p5).

Section 1-9 summarises this and allocates 610 new houses to Frome, giving a final requirement of 2776 houses from 2006 to 2029. This is a much higher growth than the other 4 towns.

So for south Frome the Planning Authority have identified 4 sites which are expected to deliver 310 new houses, with a further 200 to the west, as part of a mixed development (extending Marston Trading Estate).  (NB. FR3 should read 70)

summary of Frome sites

MDC plan

mdc-plan with house numbers

So within the plan period (to 2029) this part of Frome is due to accomodate 510 new houses (1200 – 1700 people).

The Selwood Garden Village proposes to increase this to 2,200 houses (5,500 – 7,500 people).

The whole area between the edge of town and the bypass would be built upon, apart from the river valley, a gap at Blatchbridge  & an area of green (bird shaped) which is too steep to economically build on. See the google map for details.

Here is the proposed housing trajectory for building out the phases of the project, taken from the phasing trajectory diagram in the submission.

Trajectory graph 2

And here is how it would add to the allocations already identified for Frome by Mendip DC.

Trajectory graph

 So the cumulative impact would be this;
Why did the District Council stick with the housing numbers in the plan & not add more to help the housing crisis? See this single page summary of the reasoning. MDC approach to housing numbers.
NEW: here is a full explanation of the housing allocation process. It finds that there are 1741 houses allocated in the Local Plan with a further 331 identified on potential additional sites, giving a total of around 1950 houses of which 540 are affordable homes.
You can find all the sites considered here – from the Issues & Options page.
Some sites were deemed unsuitable;
key to options map
Sites considered;
Options map
So site FRO215 was considered (off Birchill Lane) but not included as it was not required during the plan period. MDC stated “The future of this location will therefore be re-assessed in the context of the Future Single Plan Review. The FGA notation will be deleted from the policies map.”
NB. See site FRO210M to the east of Frome on the submission above? Would that be a better place to grow a proper Garden Village? See this.