Saxonvale is set to be a vibrant new community with flexible commercial space, desirable public realm and homes for all lifestyles, set on the banks of the River Frome. An exemplar mixed-use scheme which takes the historic grain of Frome as its starting point and uses Acorn Property Group’s ’Different by Design’ ethos by incorporating contemporary sensitive design, local features and quality material to create character and civic pride.
The new neighbourhood at Saxonvale will be so much more than just your standard residential housing development. Not only will it deliver design-led quality homes which will make a positive contribution to the local housing needs; it will be something Frome can be proud of. Building upon the town’s remarkable creative energy while respecting and enhancing Frome’s strong local identity, Saxonvale will demonstrate character and have wide appeal, attracting people local to the area as well as from further afield, reinforcing Frome’s reputation as one of the best places to live (according to The Sunday Times best place to live list 2019).
One of the highlights will be a new Riverside Café with south facing seating, where people can sit back and relax to enjoy the riverside parkland of which the majority of existing trees will be retained along the riverfront to create mature, natural surroundings, as well as an exciting new Riverside Park complete with play equipment and area of open grassland for informal recreational use that will further promote well being outdoors.
In addition to this usable community space, a new public square will be created to provide a number of activities contributing to the enjoyment for all. This paved open area will generate a vibrant and lively community hub with amphitheatre style steps, where local street performers and artists can exhibit, adding to the vitality and diversity of the town centre.
Robin Squire, Managing Director of Acorn’s Bristol Region adds: “We would like the public open space to belong to Frome and be actively used with occasional markets and open-air events to ensure Saxonvale is a vibrant addition to the already successful high street.”
Acorn have been working with Mendip District Council and Frome Town Council on The Western Warehouse section of the site. Frome Town Council are currently considering a number of options for this building focussing on Frome’s innovation and creativity. Their ambition for the building is to create a unique facility that would benefit both the wider community and new Saxonvale residents.
Cllr Ros Wyke, Leader of Mendip District Council, said: “This is such an exciting development. We very much hope that Saxonvale will prove to be a vibrant, thriving community hub in Frome. We believe this is a real opportunity to create something unique and wonderful for the local community that will further boost the town.”
Saxonvale has been designed as an extension of the town, returning this largely closed-off derelict area back into the life of the community, with the intention to provide public open space that locals will be encouraged to use and walk through. Commercial and residential units sit together to help create an environment where residents can live, work and play in close proximity. We hope to have a focus on walking and cycling, encouraging movement and enhancing permeable links in particular, new pedestrian and cycle routes which will see a new footbridge installed across the river to connect to the surrounding area.
Friends of The River Frome are “delighted that Acorn is providing a piece of land which will serve as a community footpath, enhancing the natural environment along the river corridor and improving public amenity and access. It is hoped that more land owners will be encouraged to do the same”.