We present the AK.A Mayday alternative masterplan for Saxonvale. This plan is not-for-profit, viable and will deliver the community and economic imperatives of our local planning policies. If the District Council annul the contract with Acorn and agree a conditional option on the site at developed value, we are prepared to fund a full planning application based on this draft masterplan proposal.
Whilst the Saxonvale situation continues to deteriorate, we have been following concerns about the proposed Selwood Garden Community in the Frome Times and Cllr Scott Wards warnings about protections on piecemeal development. Given the failure of national house builders and the wide-spread scepticism that they will ever make good on S106 & community infrastructure obligations, I think that community-led development offers the only ray of hope.
There is no reason why communities should not take the lead in these scenarios either in partnership with house builders or by forming their own not-for-profit development companies giving them a competitive advantage. We hope the Mayday alternative masterplan can provide a template for the town in our ability to fend off inappropriate redevelopment whilst meeting new home quotas and planning targets.
This is perfectly achievable and rational given the way developers seek to erode planning policies in the way we have seen Acorn attempting during their Saxonvale application. All of the different sections of Andrew Kirby Architects draft masterplan are now complete and has been drafted on the basis of understanding this site as a part of our wonderful town and give an opportunity for people to have a say in how the site could be developed to meet local needs and play its part in addressing the climate emergency. The masterplan brings development forward as a series of ‘quarters’ with a variety of uses complimentary to the towns needs. This involves residential, self / custom build, a new school, business incubation / start up units, mixed use live / work units, heritage and public / cultural uses - all connected up with strong 'pedestrian priority' public realm.
The plan proposes to retain and upgrade existing buildings and historic features, retaining the industrial identity of the site and re purposing buildings to boost Frome’s independent and entrepreneurial character. The relocation of St John’s School and distribution of community resources including affordable homes at a quantum never before seen in the Mendip region will create strong 'place making’ qualities and exemplar sustainable credentials to address the Climate Emergency.