Adam Boyden

Mendip District Councillor for Frome College ward and Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Somerton & Frome Learn more

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Cider factory proposed off Cuckoo Lane (updated)

by adamboyden on 29 March, 2019

Original article, March 2019:

An outline planning application has been submitted by Mark Lilley (Lilley’s Cider) for a ‘Cider Production Facility, Farm Shop/Cafe, Sheep Barn and 2 x Eco Houses’ at land off Cuckoo Lane, Frome, BA11 2NT. The planning application (reference 2019/0416/OTS) can be found here.

The application is supported by a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, a Flood Risk Assessment, Transport Assessment, Design & Access Statement, Bat Survey Report, Noise Impact Assessment, a proposed layout, an indicative site layout, and illustrative access options – all found here.

I met the Lilleys last year when their plans were first announced to discuss their plans. There was a residents’ open day on site about the emerging proposals last summer. I understand many residents were and are supportive of the orchard and other aspects, but a number of you raised concerns about the potential impacts of the houses and factory.

To respond, you can log in and respond online here, or by email (quoting the application number) or in other ways – please see here. Please respond by 25th April.

The application crosses three council wards – the southernmost field is in Frome College, the rest is split between Frome Market and Beckington & Selwood wards. I and the other ward councillors have until 25th April to request that the Chair and Vice Chair of the Planning Board allow the application to be determined by the Planning Board rather than officers under delegated powers.

I will be looking into the application in the next few days/weeks in detail. Please also let me know your thoughts at

Update 1, July 2019:

The revised plans for the Lilley’s Cider factory submitted in June are online (see here), with revisions including the removal of the proposed eco-houses and a reduction in the size of the factory (see here), with revised reports on planning, transport, flood risks and landscape and visual impacts. The public consultation on the revised plans has a deadline of 23rd July, so please have your say before then here. There are 142 responses so far, 35 in favour, 106 objecting. I have already asked the MDC planning team to refer this to the Planning Board for a decision, as have other councillors. The application is likely to be decided this autumn.

Update 2, January 2020:

The planning application for a new cider factory off Cuckoo Lane could be withdrawn, as the applicants are looking at an alternative site. The application has had 137 objections (including on access and highway safety, visual impact, noise, odour and the character of the area) and 36 supportive comments. In December, Lilleys submitted a planning application (ref. 2019/2906/FUL) for the change of use of the former Wessex Incineration site at Bunns Lane, near Witham Friary, to general industrial (B2) and ancillary shop use (A1) (see here). The new application was validated by Mendip’s planning team on 20th January and could be determined by the end of April. A Mendip District Council source has stated that if the new site works out, the application at Cuckoo Lane is likely to be withdrawn (see here).


5 Responses

  1. John Warman says:

    Hi Adam,

    Whilst the proposed development is not that far away from where I live given the type of development I don’t envision it affecting our home. The change from Mendip House Hotel to houses has started development of this area, an orchard and farm shop seems a positive step and hopefully provide some much needed employment.

    Just so you have another person’s thoughts.



    • Jenny Hawkes says:

      John, are you aware that this isn’t just going to be a farm shop and orchard? There are 2 houses, (5 bed) 10 x 12m storage tanks, a 3 storey high factory, probably running 24/7, change of public right of way, cafe, perhaps open 7 days a week, a sheep barn (which may later be applied for as ‘change of use’), car park for 100 cars, outside of Frome’s development line. Do have a look at some of the objections raised and it may give you some idea of what has been applied for and what the future may hold.

  2. Anthea Kemp says:

    I agree with Jenny Hawkes letter .
    . This is going to be an industrial unit entailing much more traffic in the area with all the problems associated with noise and lorry movements.
    It is not suitable to plant this in a greenfield site which is outside the Frome boundary.
    The two houses being planned for could set a precedent for more houses there in the future.
    Anthea Kemp

  3. Fiona Kennard says:

    Hi Adam, Like John Warman I live near to the site and am thrilled about the proposal as it is doing what Somerset does best, alongside quarrying of course. To have more employment, to keep the fields green and to encourage wildlife and insects within the Frome boundary would be an enormous asset to the town.
    Equally I am very disappointed residents are failing to recognise the inevitable alternative impact of residential. We have watched the boundaries creep forward from Welshmill in the 1960’s ever outwards. Best wishes Fiona Kennard

  4. […] planning application deferred:The revised planning application for a cider factory and associated development was supposed to also be determined at Planning Board a few weeks ago, but this was pulled from the […]

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