Acorn plan for Frome’s Saxonvale quashed

A High Court judge ruled today on Acorn’s plans for Saxonvale, that had been approved by Mendip District Council. A Judicial Review of the approval of the plans by Mendip was given the green light back in February. The hearing took place today (11 October).

Acorn’s plans for Saxonvale had been unpopular attracting over 1,000 objections and the objection of Frome Town Council. However they had been given the green light by Mendip District Council.

Mayday Saxonvale had by contrast overwhelming local support and the backing of the town council. However because Mendip District Council had backed Acorn, they were proposing to proceed with building out their plans. That was when the judicial challenge kicked in.

The judicial challenge was issued by Mayday Saxonvale director, Damon Moore. At the time he was quoted as saying: “The Acorn plan for Saxonvale goes against the council’s own local plan for employment space in Saxonvale.”

The challenge centred on the misrepresentation of local planning policy, which directed that a required level of employment space be provided within the Saxonvale site.

Today the High Court agreed. The judge quashed the planning permission granted by Mendip District Council to Acorn. Judge Jay ruled that the Acorn plan failed to meet the requirements of Mendip District Council’s Local Plan/. He focused on the failure to provide employment space on the Saxonvale site.

This now leaves the door open for the Mayday plans for Saxonvale. Hopefully negotiations between Mayday and Somerset Council can now get underway. What no-one in Frome will want is for the site to remain derelict for years to come.


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  • Bill Lowe DipTP(dist)

    For the sake of an omitted single comma in Local Plan policy CP6, the case was lost by Somerset. Acorn’s outline application is not dead, and will now have to be re-presented to Committee with a recommendation for an extra condition that the reserved matters shall included sufficient town centre uses to comply with policy CP6, at the expense of their planned housing numbers, and the s106 agreement voluntarily varied accordingly. This does not “leave the door open” for the Mayday plans, which only have a resolution to grant consent and not planning permission. If Somerset refuse to sign Mayday’s draft s106 Agreement, the door is again open for Acorn to proceed, if their application is recommended for approval with the extra condition I mentioned above, and the Committee decide accordingly to approve and sign a revised s106 Agreement. Hopefully, we have seen the last of the inelegant proposed bridge over the River Frome in the reserved matters submitted by Acorn following their now quashed outline approval.

  • Pingback: Saxonvale planning permission quashed - Councillor Adam BoydenCouncillor Adam Boyden

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