Streetscene looking west saxonvale frome, with local Frome residents enjoying an extension of the town centre by mayday saxonvale An Alternative Saxonvale Development Plan for Frome

Our Town, Our Saxonvale

We are Mayday Saxonvale

We are a not-for-profit social enterprise, with the sole objective of delivering a sustainable plan for Saxonvale governed by the needs, priorities, and aspirations of our town.

Planning Board Meeting 15th September 2021

The reconsideration of Acorn’s application at the Planning Board on 15th September was held for one reason only, to introduce textural changes to the Officer’s Report, in an attempt to neutralise Damon Moore’s challenge for a Judicial Review. 

It was clear from the meeting that the District Council – plus a block of Councillors – were determined to re-recommend this profit-led Acorn scheme and to close down any discussion of the Mayday Alternative Plan. A plan that is currently in pre-application. An application process that was due to take 4-5 weeks, but has been held up by Mendip District Council (MDC) and taken 9 weeks. A plan that was dismissed by members of the Planning Board to even be on the system. 

The level of public objection to Acorn is now overwhelming, and whilst our legal representations are ongoing, we appeal once again to MDC to listen to what the people of Frome are saying and to allow the Mayday Saxonvale Alternative Plan the opportunity to progress. Not taking this step will inevitably lead to further delays and controversy. It will risk the destruction of surviving heritage assets on the site which could happen imminently. 

What are people in Frome to believe if the Mayday Saxonvale Plan is blocked because the District Council prefers a non-compliant, unfit for purpose development proposal? 

How could Frome be any clearer in making its views plain to the District Council?

Mayday Saxonvale is a good news story in planning and outcomes for public engagement in planning.

This could be a legacy for Mendip and a legacy for Frome.

After many years of developers who don’t respect the consultation process and who play expensive games, we have a route in this town and in our region for communities to engage in placemaking and in building a better public realm. 

Finally, we have a viable and realistic method to engage in partnerships with social value developers who can achieve access to equity at lower profit margins and who are ready to talk, ready to listen, and ready to respond. People want to do good if they can, they want to help if they can, people want to see the places they live in becoming stronger, more self-confident communities. The District Council is putting all of this at risk in Saxonvale, and we ask them again to pause, and properly consider the Mayday Saxonvale Alternative.

We are developing a fully costed and funded plan for Saxonvale

  • Our architects, Andrew Kirby Architects, have developed a full site plan.
  • Our cost consultants, Macegreen, have completed a detailed costing analysis for the entire plan.
  • We have established Stories as our preferred joint-venture partner, who will provide access to the necessary funding and delivery expertise.
  • After a successful public consultation, our Masterplan will be submitted for planning permission in June.

Frome and Mendip District Council will then be able to decide between the plans of Acorn Property Group or Mayday Saxonvale.

How Saxonvale is developed will change Frome forever, there are no second chances

The Mayday Masterplan

  • Employment – Over 11,000sqm of non-residential space, generating the jobs Frome needs, reducing the outflow of workers, and delivering Mendip District Council’s policy.
  • Housing Homes that are affordable (over 40% of dwellings), imaginative, reflective of Frome’s built heritage, high quality, and with self-build options as called for by Frome’s Neighbourhood Plan.
  • Community – Saxonvale should be a community, not a development, delivering an ambitious range of place making community spaces, a new school site for St John’s, buildings for community use, and a public open air Lido.
  • Landscape – A place designed for people, surrounded by spaces that capture the essence of Frome’s character.
  • Environment – We recognize there is a climate emergency so the Mayday plan nurtures and protects the natural assets of the site.
  • History – We respect the surviving heritage assets of Saxonvale, part of Frome’s unique character.

In comparison – Acorn’s Plan, rejected by Frome, imposed on Frome

Acorn Property Group’s commercially driven plan, is dominated by high density apartment blocks, roads and car parking. The plan fails to deliver on Mendip District Council’s own policy on the commercial space Frome needs and affordable housing requirements.

We absolutely believe in the Saxonvale project in principle. But 300 dwellings is too many, and too greedy. Mendip and their developers are determined to maximise profit on an unsustainable scheme that doesn’t meet Frome’s economic or social needs. It will squander this once-and-only opportunity to create a vibrant town centre extension and cause irreversible damage to the town’s unique character

Richard Swann, Frome Civic Society

Individual Rejections


(Zero in support)

Rejected by Frome’s Statutory Consultees:

  • Frome Town Council
  • Frome & District Chamber of Commerce
  • Frome & District Civic Society

Saxonvale has been sat empty for over 20 years, it won’t ever be developed!”

Saxonvale Myths Busted