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Planning and development news

by adamboyden on 28 September, 2015

Tesco Express in Stonebridge should reopen in December as a larger store and 4 flats (‘Acacia View’) above. I successfully argued for improvements to the planning application (2014/0970/FUL) to improve the design and lighting, and ensure no overall loss of parking spaces or trees, which will be replanted. New plans have been recently submitted for a cashpoint, canopy and new signage (2015/2146, 2147, 2149/FUL) at the site, which are being consulted on. Until Tesco reopens, the ice cream van is there every morning until 10am, so you can buy daily essentials and place home delivery food orders.

The Co-op at Fromefield (2013/1514/FUL) should be finished this autumn. New planning applications have been submitted with final details of the building (2015/1267/APP), and for a new cashpoint on the corner (2015/1099/FUL). Large advertising boards (2015/1600/ADV) were also proposed, but were refused permission as they were not appropriate for this prominent site in the Conservation Area.

Fusion Lifestyle’s proposed extension of the Leisure Centre reception (2015/1763/FUL) has been granted planning permission by MDC.

Commerce Park proposes less noise protection for residents

At the Commerce Park, plans have been submitted to remove two planning conditions that protect neighbouring residents from potential nuisance. In application 2015/1946/VRC, Prospect Land is asking Mendip to allow B2 (general industrial / workshops) and B8 (storage / warehousing) uses for commercial reasons. Currently, planning conditions 30 and 32 of the outline planning permission restrict development to B1 business/office use, to protect residential amenity. The Commerce Park is a good source of local jobs, services and income for many people. But the planning conditions are there for a good reason, so I have objected (along with dozens of residents), and asked Mendip to retain the planning conditions so that residents do not suffer noise from industry and warehousing being built too close to their homes.

Saxonvale ‘decision time’

Frontier Estates’ planning application for a supermarket, retail park, restaurants, offices and a hotel (ref. 2013/2260/OTS) will be decided at Mendip’s Planning Board meeting in October. Frome Town Council and local organisations have objected over concerns about the town centre, access, parking, traffic and the local environment. Last year as a town councillor, I raised concerns, but also argued that the proposals should be improved through discussions, as local residents want the site developed for something useful. There is still time to have your say, so please get in touch with me or Mendip’s planning team.

Local Plan development sites consultation

Mendip’s draft Local Plan Part 2: Sites and Policies is now out for public consultation until mid- December. Part 1 (adopted in December) set out how much development is required in our area and where the largest sites are. The new Part 2 is the Council’s ‘Issues and Options’ consultation on potential sites for other housing and employment developments between now and 2029, including at least 348 more houses in Frome, to meet the area’s needs, and on the open spaces that should be protected. Consultation sessions will be held in Frome in the next 2 months, and the ‘Preferred Options’ will follow next year. Please contact me or see www.mendip.gov.uk/localplanpart2 for details.

Potential developments at Packsaddle Way

Mendip’s draft Local Plan Part 2 identifies two greenfield sites at Packsaddle Way as potentially suitable for future housing development, and a larger site in between has been rejected again. Site 5 sits between Leys Lane and Packsaddle Way, and was previously earmarked for a new school. Site 61 at the end of Packsaddle Way is where a planning application for 107 houses, which I objected to, was withdrawn last year after a campaign by local residents. When Mendip allocate a site in the Local Plan for development, it is easier for a developer to gain planning permission. To find out more and have your say, please contact me, so I can represent your views. Please contact me or see www.mendip.gov.uk/localplanpart2 for details.

Protecting open spaces

Mendip’s Local Plan Part 2 consultation also identifies Open Areas of Local Significance sites that are protected from development. I will be asking that the old Showfield, Packsaddle parks and other local open spaces should also be protected, as only the green at the front of the Bath Road Heights site currently is. Please get in touch to have your say.

Bath Road Heights: the wait for Phase 2 continues

The Planning Inspectorate refused permission for Latona Leisure’s planning application for 8 new houses at the remainder of the Bath Road Heights (former Mendip Lodge Hotel) site in April this year (scroll to the bottom for the decision). Since then, residents have been waiting to hear how much longer they will need to live next to an abandoned building site. I have asked Latona Leisure and Mendip District Council planners for an update, as I had heard they were in discussion about a new planning application. It looks hopeful that plans are being formed for a scheme that would be acceptable to planners. Mendip’s Local Plan Part 2 consultation (see above) includes an assumption that this site will be developed for 6 houses in future. So hopefully, residents should not have to wait too much longer to have new neighbours next door, rather than piles of rubble. I will keep residents informed when I know more from either party.

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