by adamboyden on 23 December, 2016
In December, planning permission was finally granted for residential development at the remainder of the Mendip Lodge Hotel site (‘Bath Road Heights’) on Bath Road, for 7 houses (four 3-bed dwellings, two 2-bed dwellings and one 4 bed dwelling) with associated roads, paths, gardens and drives. This includes a requirement for a pedestrian crossing for Bath Road at the site, which I requested. A previous planning application for 8 houses on the site was refused by Mendip in 2014 (including on the size of houses, design, tree protection, and affordable housing, a decision upheld at appeal in March 2015), and these reasons were either overcome by the new proposals or removed (as the requirement for ‘affordable housing’ for schemes of less than 10 houses was removed by the Government). Last year I met with the developer Latona Leisure and wrote to Mendip planning team several times to raise residents’ concerns about delays to submitting a new planning application for the development, and the state of the derelict site and road. Latona had entered into pre-application discussions with Mendip which took months to resolve before Latona submitted an application in June. I informed residents of the application, and two residents responded in writing to Mendip. Somerset County Council/ Highways stated the amount of parking proposed meets their standards. Mendip requested further information on trees and landscaping, which was submitted in November with revised plans and elevations for the north western boundary to change the position of the crib wall within gardens at the rear (to address objections from Frome Town Council and Frome Civic Society).
In my response to the application as ward councillor (see here), I highlighted residents’ concerns and suggested how they could be addressed, in particular the issue of road safety and the need for a pedestrian crossing for the main road, and the need to reduce the speed of traffic. A fence or wall boundary for the open space at the front of the site could be secured under the planning condition which requires details of landscaping (including boundary treatments) to be submitted for approval by Mendip. In December, Mendip’s case officer sent me his report and proposed decision, please see here, which was for the planning application to be approved subject to conditions. As our main concerns had been met, and the development of the site would allow construction to start (which will remove eyesores, and allow the access road to be resurfaced after construction), I agreed that permission should be granted (rather than be referred to Planning Board for a decision). I am pleased that planning condition 9 secures a pedestrian crossing across Bath Road, for residents without a car to access the site – details are to be submitted to Mendip for approval (which Somerset Highways will be consulted on) and the crossing constructed before the houses are occupied.
I have also asked Frome Town Council to formally request Somerset County Council take action to install traffic calming measures on Bath Road (in consultation with the county councillor), as traffic was monitored here recently and was again found to be above the ‘action levels’, there was an accident at the crossroads late last year, and no action has been taken other than to monitor speeds. Some improvements to the access road surface have also been made after a request from Mendip’s enforcement officers. The main part of the access road will be resurfaced to ‘adoptable standards’ after the development is built and that it would then be for the County Council to adopt the road if residents request this at that time. I think this is all good news.
Please get in touch if you have any issues you need help with.
Thank you for reading.
Adam Boyden, Mendip District Councillor for Frome College ward (Liberal Democrat)
Frome Town Council – 5 Palmer Street, Frome, 01373 465757, http://www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk/news/
Mendip District Council – 0300 303 8588, http://www.mendip.gov.uk/resident
Somerset County Council – 0300 123 2224, https://somersetnewsroom.com/
Frome Times: http://www.frometimes.co.uk/
Frome Standard: http://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news and search for ‘Frome’Leave a comment