Friday, 17 December 2010

Next meeting at the Cheese & Grain

This month's meeting about a proposed huge supermarket in the centre of Frome drew an amazing 400-plus turnout and crystallised real concern about the plans. As promised, there now follows a second public meeting - aimed at informing the town about the current
ownership and plans for the site, what could be put forward as an alternative, and how a campaign should develop.

We are pleased that representatives of Mendip District  Council will be coming to present the long-standing Planning Brief for the Saxonvale site, which contains no huge supermarket development of the kind now put forward. There will also be information about the site's current ownership status and practical steps members of the community
can take to influence the plans. Most importantly, we want the meeting to get to grips with some very pressing issues: What do people want to see on that side of the town? What are their questions about the Planning Brief, or anything else regarding local regeneration? And as a community, what should we do next?

We encourage everyone to come, whether they’re concerned, opposed, or simply interested, a trader, councillor, born and bred in Frome or a more recent arrival. The meeting will take place at the Cheese And Grain, Frome, on Wednesday January 19th, between 7.30pm and 9.30pm. See you there...


  1. Last meeting was too short to take adequate feedback from the floor or give speakers enough time to answer in depth. Suggest earlier start later finish

  2. At this one, we're proposing the meeting breaking into smaller groups and then reporting back, so everyone can have their say.

  3. Not bad but it is limited.This puts the issues in the hands of reporters as to what emphasis each issue raised gets and how it is reported. It should not preclude a general discussion of some length after the reporting stage.

    What also is a concern is that members of the public may not get an adequate pre-meeting coverage of the general spread of views before the meeting as a basis for an informed discussion. they have opportunity to hear of the existing plans over the years but not of the possible down sides and of other altenatives.

  4. Thanks. There'll be a general discussion after the report-backs, I would hope. But bear in mind: this is a process, so all does not live or die by what happens on the 19th. You say: "they have opportunity to hear of the existing plans over the years but not of the possible down sides and of other altenatives." By way of advance notice, can you elaborate here?

  5. A couple of points:

    1) Can you please give us a link to Mendip Planning brief so we can do a bit of preparation before the meeting.

    2) I am intrigued by the poster who calls her/himself 'No big supermarket'. Could s/he please explain what size they think is 'big' and in a certain size range does it matter which chain it is?

  6. A link to the planning brief is on the blog: it's in the post headlined "Information about the famous(ish) planning brief". 'No big supermarket' is a tag used for posts put up by the people currently organising the activity around the issue - it reflects what everyone seems to agree on (that a massive supermarket would be bad news), though obviously, among those of us who feel strongly about all this, there are other opinions.

  7. I wonder how many years have to pass with nothing happening on the Saxonvale site for the authors of the Planning Brief to accept that perhaps the brief itself is part of the problem? It is a proposal that relies on comprehensive redevelopment by a big developer. If a more sensitive development of the site is to be realised, the has to be developed incrementally, by local finance and small builders and developers. Large scale redevelopment will inevitably be harmful to a small scale town like Frome, and local planning policies cannot control this. It is hubris to pretend otherwise.