Saxonvale, a sustainable new neighbourhood that Frome can be proud of


Artist’s Impression of proposed Public Square

Following an extensive journey of design and public consultation, Acorn Property Group’s planning application for Saxonvale will be appearing on the Planning Board Agenda on January 28th, 2021 in the hope of securing approval for the regeneration of a vibrant mixed-use scheme in Frome. Saxonvale is set to include 300 open market and affordable new homes, 45,000 sq ft of commercial space and high-quality public space.

The new development proposed by Acorn, which is on land owned by Mendip District Council, will draw on sustainability credentials of its central location and facilitate living and working lifestyles that contribute to addressing climate change and safeguarding nature. The proposed sustainability strategy has been endorsed by world renowned charity and social enterprise Bioregional who have worked with Acorn to provide guidance and fully support the aspiration to create a new sustainable neighbourhood for Frome.

Highlights will include a new riverside café and park complete with play equipment and open grassland, as well as a thriving public square designed as an open-air venue that can be used for market stalls, entertainment and sports purposes, fostering the vitality and cohesion of this new neighbourhood as a community hub for the residents of Frome. New pedestrian routes and cycle paths will open up access to the town centre as well as a new bridge that will link the development with Rodden Meadow.

Robin Squire, Managing Director of Acorn’s Bristol Region commented

“We have worked closely with the local community and planning authority to address any previous concerns raised and are hopeful that the latest proposal will meet with their approval as we are looking forward to delivering this important town centre site for Frome.”

Saxonvale will not only deliver design-led quality homes which make a positive contribution to the local housing needs; of which 22 per cent of the new properties (the equivalent of 67 homes) will be affordable new homes to help aspiring homeowners’ step onto the housing ladder. It will become a destination and something Frome can be proud of. An exciting new neighbourhood where residents can live, work and play within close proximity and without the need for commuting, providing opportunities to boost local economic activity and reduce the need to commute by car.

The scheme will also provide a network of up to 17 fast and rapid communal electric car charging points, alongside personal charging points for e-bikes and e-scooters as well as electric car club and e-bike club facilities, for the convenience of a sustainable lifestyle.

Saxonvale is set to host expansive commercial space with purpose-built retail, café and restaurants for local independents to complement the existing high street, and a purpose built co-working area that has the prospect of creating 350 new job opportunities for the local area.

In addition to delivering 45,000 sq ft of commercial space, Saxonvale has also been designed to incorporate unique live/work dwellings that offer occupiers the opportunity to change between residential and commercial uses. These properties will be delivered in an adaptable format to provide flexible workspace on the ground floor that can be used as an office or studio without having to apply for planning consent, enabling convenient living and working opportunities side by side and hence further reduce the need to commute for work.

Additionally, Acorn has been working closely with both landowners Mendip and Frome Town Council, to deliver ambitious plans for an exciting new arts and heritage centre in the existing Western Warehouse building.

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