by adamboyden on 19 October, 2016
Frome’s Neighbourhood Plan Referendum: vote Yes for Frome
Tomorrow (Thursday 20 October 2016) a referendum will be held on the Frome Neighbourhood Plan, to ask “Do you want Mendip District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Frome to help it decide planning applications in [Frome]?”.
The Neighbourhood Plan was prepared by Frome Town Council in consultation with residents and community organisations, and includes policies on housing, building design, protecting employment land, the town centre, and the river corridor. If more than 50% of voters approve (there is no minimum turnout), it will be used in future planning decisions Frome, and also allow the Town Council to receive more funding for Frome from developments. The Plan also commits the Town Council to work with Mendip and others to produce local planning guidance which could mean more funding from development towards improving parks, sports, leisure and open spaces in Frome.
The Plan originally included some policies that were removed by Mendip District Council and then by the independent Examiner, but the remaining 8 policies are: Building a balanced community, Building by design, Self Build and Community Housing, Protection of Employment Land, Town Centre Remodelling, The Westway Centre, The Cattle Market Car Park, and The River Corridor. Please see here for the official press release, here for the FNP document, and also see this week’s Frome Times and Frome Standard (‘Everything you need to know but were afraid to ask’) articles.
A YES vote would mean that the Frome Neighbourhood Plan will be used by Mendip District Council when deciding planning applications in Frome, giving Frome residents and town councillors a bit more influence and local control over developments here. A YES vote would also mean that more funding from development would be spent in line with Frome Town Council’s priorities (as if MDC ever set up a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to replace the current Section 106 Agreement regime, the Town Council would receive 25% of the CIL receipts directly (rather than 15%) to spend on local priorities). So I am going to vote YES, and I hope everyone else can too.