by adamboyden on 8 January, 2015
Update, May 2015
The development of the Stonebridge shops expansion with flats above (ref. 2014/0970) received planning permission in January. I successfully argued for some improvements to the plans, to avoid a loss of car parking spaces, include more tree planting, and improve the design. The trees which were cut down in April will be replaced after the main building work is finished.
Construction will start on 16th June. I have been informed that Tesco will close on 4th June and will reopen as a larger store in January 2016. All the other shops will remain open. Half the car park is proposed to be used for construction. I asked the developer to consider how to help residents shop there for daily essentials, but they say there is no room for a pop-up shop on site. See more in this week’s Frome Standard. The nearest local shops will be in the town centre, McColls (Rodden Road) or Tuck Shop (St Johns Road), until the new Co-op opens at Fromefield (probably in September).
Update, 8th January 2015
The revised planning application has now been approved by the case officer, please see here for the Decision Notice. The planning application reference is 2014/0970.
I will be in touch with Mendip and the developers about their plans to start, and about Frome Town Council’s proposal to install a Community Notice Board on the site.
Update, December 2014
The plans for expanded shops and new flats have now been revised to attempt to respond to the objections from Frome Town Council and Frome Civic Society about building design, by reducing the extent and number of gable ends in the design, which I think is an improvement. Previously the plans were improved to address concerns on trees and the car parking, as well as to include some low level lighting and improve general appearance. Mendip’s case officer is now writing his report and presenting it to the Chair and Vice Chair of the Planning Board to see if the planning application needs to be determined by councillors rather than delegated to officers, due to the outstanding objections.
Please see here for original article: http://adamboyden.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/07/15/stonebridge-news/
Update, September 2014:
Revised plans for the extension to the shops, and construction of new flats above them, at 90 – 96 Forest Road, Stonebridge, Frome, have been submitted to Mendip District Council. Consultation on the revised plans has begun and you have until 13th October 2014 to comment. See also the Frome Standard article this week.
A planning application for the expansion of the Tesco Express and Lloyds pharmacy at Forest Road, Stonebridge, the creation of an additional small shop unit, and 4 residential flats above, with an extension to the existing car park, was submitted in May.
After residents raised concerns with me about the loss of trees and loss of parking spaces (and pressure on parking in the area at peak shopping times), I discussed the issues with the developer’s consultants, Brookton2000 and Canon House, who agreed to try and amend the plans to address these issues.
Loss of trees: The proposals involve the felling of 5 trees (T6,7,8,9,11 in the submitted Tree Plan) and loss of a small area of green open space along Stonebridge Drive. A number of extra heavy standard trees were proposed to replace them around the site. Trees to be felled along Stonebridge Drive include T7,T8 and T9, two field maples and a cherry, were to be replaced by only one tree on the corner near T7. As Stonebridge Drive would have been devoid of trees, I asked for plans to be revised that either retained trees T8 and T9 or provided large new planted trees to replace them. The revised plans propose to now include one additional tree to be planted near existing tree T8 along Stonebridge Drive.
Loss of parking spaces: The original plans proposed 3 new parking spaces and 4 spaces being dedicated to the residents of the new flats, so the shoppers car park would lose 1 space. As residents told me that at some peak times, there are not enough spaces in the car park, and parking and congestion becomes a problem for residents of Forest Road and Stonebridge Drive. So I asked for parking provision to be reviewed. The revised plans now propose that there is no loss of parking spaces, as room for an extra parking space has been found. The developer is also trying to discuss the idea of white lining around the mini roundabout to discourage inappropriate and dangerous parking here, with Somerset Highways (although Somerset Highways is being unresponsive!).
Lighting: I also raised the issue of the darkness in the car park at night which leads to safety concerns and trip hazards (when Lloyds do not leave their strip lights on) and asked for suitable lighting to be included. The revised plans include for 2 new pole mounted lights (which should ensure low light spill) and new wall mounted lights, to light the walkway in front of the shops better.
General appearance: I also raised the issue of the general appearance of the car park, as the signage is old and unattractive. I have been told this will be replaced with new signage. I also asked that the graffiti on Tesco’s wall and shutters be removed, and have been told that Tesco have been instructed to remove it.
Have your say: The original planning application was deemed not important enough by the planning officer to warrant a public notice on site, although a few neighbouring residents were informed by letter. But this time a site notice has been put up by Mendip planners after I asked them to (insisted), so that more people can be made aware of the plans for this area.
So overall I think the revised plans are an improvement, but what do you think? To look at the plans and reports, and to comment on the planning application please see here and add your comments here (you will need to log in) or send an email to email@example.com, quoting reference 2014/0970/FUL.
Please also let me know what you think so I can represent any concerns to Mendip’s planners.