Over 11,000 sqm of non-residential space to generate the jobs Frome needs, reducing the outflow of workers, and delivering on Mendip District Council’s plan

Frome needs to generate jobs

Frome has a fundamental imbalance between commercial and residential space, between jobs and residents. With ever increasing residential schemes being implemented outside of the town centre, this situation is only set to get worse as the population increases.

There is only one town centre site left which can deliver it – Saxonvale.

Mendip District Council’s Local Plan states:

  • ‘the biggest challenge the town faces in the next 20 years is to reduce the outflow of workers from the town by providing jobs locally.’
  • ‘More effort needed to ensure that jobs are provided as part of redevelopment sites to limit growth in new travel demands to employment sites’
  • Frome Town centre needs 11,850 sqm of space for ‘Town Centre Uses (excluding retail)’
  • The Saxonvale site is to deliver 5,750 sqm of ‘office/studio’ space.

‘We have the ridiculous situation of businesses who want to move to Frome but cannot find premises, and businesses which want to expand but cannot do so because there are no premises for them.’
Neil Howlett, Chair of Frome Chambers of Commerce

Frome’s employment sites lost to housing

Over the last 20 years, Frome’s employment sites have been used to provide housing.

This is a total of 1,150 new dwellings on Frome’s employment land.

  • Singers: 136 houses, (4 shops), 1999
  • Vallis Mills (Redrow): 204 houses, 2002
  • Coloroll 129: houses and flats, 2005
  • Cuprinol: 116 houses, 2006
  • Slipps: 74 houses and flats, 2009
  • Matbro: 187 houses (1 shop), 2009
  • Police Station & Magistrates Court: 61 houses, 2014
  • Western Vinyl :64 houses, 2017
  • Selwood Print Works: 157 houses, (1 shop), 2019

More residents, no more jobs.

Mayday’s plan delivers for Frome and Mendip’s policy

Mayday fully endorse Mendip District Council’s policy for jobs growth in Frome. We have sought to maximise the space for job generation, whilst recognising this is a mixed use site. The plan will deliver at least 11,000 sqm of non-residential town space, against the Mendip District Council town centre employment space requirement of 11,850 sqm, across three areas of the site:

The plan establishes Frome for a hub of local businesses and social enterprise for generations. Residents can walk or cycle to their workplace, rather than commuting in their cars.

Mendip approved a plan that defeats their own policy

The Acorn plan provides for minimal 4,181 sqm of non-residential space clustered on the edge of the site near the Silk Mill. With dense residential units delivering the greatest profit, this is where Acorn have focussed.

Mendip District Council have issued a clear call to action in their local planning policy, and then are voluntarily approving the end of their own policy. The costs of this decision will be borne by Frome.

Live Work

In both the Central Mixed Use Quarter and Commercial Zone, live work units are a key part of the sustainable Mayday vision. Providing residents with a more flexible opportunity to start local businesses in combination with their affordable living arrangements.

Jobs are created in Frome whilst reducing commuting travel out of the town.