Concern over impact of extra traffic in Frome Town centre
REACTIONS have been mixed so far to the latest plans to develop the mainly derelict land in Frome town centre.
After years of speculation, anticipation and consultation, the scheme at Saxonvale proposed by Frontier Estates has been welcomed by some and condemned by others as "abysmal".
At Frome Town Council meeting last Wednesday several residents were concerned about the impact on hundreds of extra cars generated by the development on residential roads while others were pleased to see a mixed development of a supermarket, shops, a hotel, cafes, restaurants, employment units, 265 car parking spaces and a new home for the training centre.
It was the first opportunity to air their views at a public meeting after more detailed plans were revealed by Frontier Estates at an exhibition at the Archangel.
The site for development is on an area of Saxonvale owned by Notts Industries and Mendip District Council.
The town's economic and regeneration officer Peter Wheelhouse last week described it as the biggest scheme for the town for many years. And the accumulative effect of this pending application, the Butler & Tanner development which has outline consent and the plans to expand Asda at Wallbridge would be a main consideration for Frome Town Council.
Chairman of Frome Civic Society John Peverley said in reality the actual size of the proposed supermarket was 60,000 sq ft, far larger than Asda and described the quality of public space being created in the town square and the shopping street as a "fairly abysmal quality of urban design."
Councillor Nick White, who is also a member of Frome For All, said it was important not to crush this latest opportunity but emphasised the importance of the town influencing the quality of the design and ensuring the look and feel was in harmony with the town centre.
A spokesperson for Frontier Estates stressed that in retail terms the 25,000sq ft net sales area of the supermarket was the important figure.
"The building acts as the central point for the whole development and the car park is for people accessing the town centre.
"The lifts and escalators and the atrium at the entrance to the building all serve the whole development rather than just the supermarket."
See letters, page 10