Masterplan studies found on this page illustrate different visions and possibilities for the Saxonvale site, moving away from Acorn’s housing-led scheme. Saxonvale still has the potential to be developed as a significant and important extension to the town centre; providing future employment capacity, much needed economic vitality and a landscape of dynamic architectural merit.
In step with global trends towards maximising pedestrian and cycle friendly towns, cities and developments, the design will prioritise a mix of pedestrianised commercial opportunities including independent retail, side by side with flexible live-work. The aim will be not only to help minimise car traffic and future congestion on access roads around the town, but importantly to extend Frome town centre as a cultural and commercial destination.
The plan to relocate St John’s School is a balanced solution to land use; no more traffic will be generated to this destination than at present whilst directly benefiting children and the wider school community. Use of the new riverside park can be maximised for recreational use, sports, play and forest school learning, as well as the ability to cycle and walk to work via new green corridors, enlivening connections with the town centre, and creating people friendly localities.
In 2019 the British Government declared a Climate Emergency and as architects we feel it our duty to deliver sustainable designs with this in mind. Following this logic and with an environmentally conscious approach, we believe in a ‘retro-fit first’ strategy to reimagining existing building stock to be a priority, advocating creative re-use of existing buildings in the first instance. Overall, we want a development with the maximum benefit and functionality for the community of Frome and with the smallest environmental footprint.
Collective studies by the design team will filter comments and supported design ideas and interpret them into a new masterplan for the site. With on-going input and consultation with the community, this can develop into an agreed community masterplan, with supporting Design Codes to which the standards of the project would be agreed and potentially delivered.