by adamboyden on 7 April, 2022
As one of your local councillors it’s my job to keep people informed about local matters, so here is my latest newsletter.
Help Ukrainian refugees:
With the sickening Russian invasion of Ukraine continuing, so does the need to help refugees fleeing the war. Frome Town Council’s fundraising to help refugees in Frome’s twin town in Poland continues here. Mendip District Council’s list of organisations you can also help is here. The UK Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme is described on the British Red Cross page here, and support for residents considering volunteering to sponsor refugees is here. Thank you.
Old Showfield fire:
Last week the Community Share Box, including books within it, at the Old Showfield near the cricket club was destroyed in an arson attack. This is such a shame, it is the second time this has happened. I and others reported it to FTC who have cleared away the remains. I understand that the Share Box will be replaced. We cannot let vandals win. If anyone has information about the arson please call FTC on 01373 465757 and the Police on 101. I have also asked FTC to look at fencing or draining the stagnant ditches around the area.
Frome’s six Lib Dem Mendip District Councillors have issued a joint statement on the Mayday Saxonvale planning application, which should be coming before MDC’s Planning Board in mid-May – please see here. If anyone would like to discuss or find out more, please get in touch.
Commerce Park planning application to be decided on 13th April:
The planning application for industrial warehousing and business development at the last large undeveloped part of the Commerce Park will be decided at MDC’s Planning Board on Wednesday next week (see agenda item 7 ref DM01). The proposals are described on my website here, and the application documents are here. The Planning Officer’s report is here, which recommends permission is granted subject to conditions. Some 27 objections have been received from nearby residents, largely due to the development of industrial/warehouse uses in the zone that was restricted to office/business uses in the original outline planning permission (which no longer directly applies, as the outline permission and conditions ran out of time, and this is a separate application), and on potential noise disturbance. Please let me know what you think, if you have not responded already.
Update, 13th April: The planning application was deferred for up to three months, after the Coalway Lane Residents Association and I and other councillors raised several concerns, and Board members agreed that time was needed to address these – see here. Effectively this sends the planning application back to the developer and MDC planning department to address the concerns raised, to either revise the application or develop suitable planning controls to protect the residents. The press have also picked up on this, with an article from local democracy report Daniel Mumby here.
Innox Hill development – deadline day:
Today 7th April is the last day to respond to Savills’ pre-application consultation on the proposal to develop 71 new homes on Innox Hill. Around 70 residents and several other councillors and I attended the presentation by Savills at Frome Town Council’s Planning Committee last week, and many concerns were raised. I and others asked about the wisdom of bringing new residents into an area where fly nuisance is suffered by nearby residents, and the need for safe pedestrian access along Innox Hill road towards Frome. If no new issues are raised from people’s responses, a planning application is likely to be submitted later in April. The email address to send any comments to us email@example.com. Please see here for my full updated report.
Packsaddle fields development:
I was pleased to speak to several residents living around the Somerset County Council owned fields off Packsaddle Way, in the fields and in the park, after the decision in March by SCC to enter into an Option Agreement with LiveWest (subject to planning permission for housing) and my initial discussion with LiveWest revealed their initial ideas for developing the site. After I asked LiveWest who residents could talk to about concerns of access and privacy (as well as the environmental impacts of development and potential loss of fields to walk in), they will soon be appointing a communications consultant to start to talk to residents, alongside a planning consultant who will prepare a planning strategy, commission ecological and other site surveys and analyse site constraints. Please see my updated report here.
The Packsaddle Community Group are planning to arrange a community meeting in the park in the next week or two, to discuss the potential development of the fields and the imminent planning application at Innox Hill with local councillors. To join the group please see their Facebook page or email Chris & Miriam Hare at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fly survey update:
Some 128 people have responded to our survey into the fly nuisance around Wessex Water’s Frome sewage treatment works over the last few weeks. 93% of those responding said they experienced large numbers of flies (midges and gnats) in their home and garden, and 86% (111 people) said the flies were having a moderate, major or severe impact on the use and enjoyment of their home. This indicates that residents have been suffering a major nuisance in the area (and many more than have ever complained to Wessex Water or MDC before). The results of the survey are being collated, information from Wessex Water is being reviewed, and I will prepare a report and post a fuller summary on this website shortly.
In the meantime, residents should: (1) keep a record of any fly nuisance you experience at home, and take photos and videos on any bad days; (2) contact Wessex Water on 0345 600 4 6000 and Mendip District Council on 0300 303 8588 (option 4, then 4 then 2) or email Environmental.Health@mendip.gov.uk if and when fly numbers are high; (3) keep in touch and let me know how it is by emailing email@example.com.
Consultation begins on Pedestrianisation Order to tackle flytipping hotspot:
The official public consultation on the proposed pedestrianisation of part of Berkley Lane, and Dark Lane, to the north of Frome, which aims to tackle this flytipping hotspot, has started and lasts until 28th April – please see here for details.
SGC decision delayed:
A decision on the planning application for 1700 homes, employment sites, a primary school and other facilities to the south of Frome, ‘Selwood Garden Community’ (SGC) is to be delayed for at least six months, as National Highways (formerly Highways Agency/Highways England) have advised that more work needs to be done to assess the traffic impacts on the A36 – please see here. The associated planning application for a solar panel farm at Birchall Lane has also been withdrawn – see here.
Anyone planning to have a Street Party for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee should be interested in Frome Town Council’s ‘Party on your street’ talk on 14th April with neighbourhood networkers who have done it before to get tips, ideas and inspiration – please register beforehand (see here) or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Election news – standing for Somerset County Council:
I am delighted to have been officially nominated to stand for election on 5th May to Somerset County Council for the Frome North division, with the LibDems, along with Christine Cockroft. A bit more about Christine and me is here. If you would like to help us, please get in touch. Thanks to everyone who has helped so far.
The full ‘statement of persons nominated’ for the elections to SCC and town/parish councils in Mendip is here, and a list for Frome county candidates is here. There will only be an election to one of the 17 seats on Frome Town Council, as Independents for Frome candidates were unopposed in 16 seats.
Frome Town Council to host local election hustings:
A local election hustings will be hosted in the Cheese & Grain on Sunday 1st May between 5 and 7pm so that people can meet and question the candidates for the unitary and town/parish elections in person, listen to others and get involved in local politics – please see here.
Don’t forget to register to vote before 14th April – you can do so online here, it takes about 5 minutes.
Frome Town Council’s review of the year:
Due to the local elections in May, there are few MDC meetings in April, with the exception of Licensing, and a Planning Board meeting on 13th April (see above and here). FTC have a Town Matters committee on 20th April, Planning Committees as usual and a (non-Council) Annual Town Meeting on 6th April – see here.
I hope you find this newsletter useful, and do share it with friends or family (to subscribe to the email alert, please email me). Please get in touch with any concerns or queries to me at email@example.com or my official MDC email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07809 284817.
Thanks for reading,
Lib Dem Mendip District Councillor for Frome College ward, and Somerset County Council candidate for Frome North division