Mayday’s Paul Oster addresses Mendip District Council

Mayday’s Paul Oster addresses Full Mendip District Council Meeting on why they should change course on Saxonvale

Good evening everyone, I’m Paul Oster and I’m from Mayday Saxonvale. 

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but we’d very much like to purchase the Saxonvale site in Frome from you? 

I’d like to explain why. 

The Acorn Plan Rejected

Acquiring the whole Saxonvale site in 2018 was an ambitious and optimistic act by the council. 

But the Acorn plan does not match that ambition. 

Grids of five storey apartments in the last major town centre site for employment and community facilities is not what Frome needs.

Our town council, the civic society, the chamber of commerce, and residents, have all objected. 

The local experts have explained, in detail, why it is the wrong plan for Frome.

Yet, the scheme is being pursued regardless. 

This might be explicable if there was no alternative.

The Mayday Plan Supported

But Frome has come forward with an alternative.

It isn’t some sketches, a wishlist, or some dreamy ideas. 

It is an outline planning application, currently awaiting determination.

Mayday’s alternative plan does exactly what the Acorn scheme fails to. 

It fully extends the town centre.

It creates a wide range employment space that your plan for Frome demands

It has policy compliant levels of affordable housing.

It has facilities and assets for our community.

The community have voiced their support for the Mayday plan, as strongly as they rejected Acorn’s, including well over 1,000 residents commenting in support. 

A plan that is viable and deliverable

And the Mayday plan is funded, viable and deliverable. 

It is the most economically advantageous plan for Frome and for Mendip District Council. 

We can facilitate the best consideration for the land. 

It will generate far higher economic impacts, long term council revenue, and community well-being.

We are aligned with Stories, our socially responsible development partner, on maximising the community offer, not profit.

It is because we are not constrained by an obligation to deliver the highest possible return on capital that we can lower costs and deliver more.

Development at scale is always uncertain, but the fundamentals of our model means it will always deliver the most for our community.

We will send you a paper, which sets out our financial approach in more detail.


To date you have not engaged with us. We invite you, the current governing cabinet, to sit down with us.

To all other councillors, of all parties, and especially those from Frome, you cannot reasonably be silent on an issue so fundamental to Frome’s future. 

At the upcoming elections voters will expect you to explain your position.

To members of the Planning Board, per the Localism Act, you can fully express your views on the two plans for Saxonvale, and still join the Planning Board with an open mind and not be predetermined. 

We will send you legal advice that sets this out in more detail.


The community you serve has spoken clearly.

Your constituents have seized the initiative, to find a way forward. 

If you ignore them, what is the result? 

Apathy? Disillusionment? The slow demise of Frome?

Alternatively, you can breathe life into local democracy.

Join with us and let’s be ambitious, be optimistic, and believe in Frome. 

It’s your choice.

Thank you for listening