Frome, in Somerset, has a population of about 25,000 people. The town has a lengthy history as an industrial centre, being full of factories, the last disappearing early in 21st century. The industrial sites have been redeveloped as housing in the main. An article in The Guardian written by a journalist, who calls Frome home, has an interesting story of how a not for profit social enterprise has impacted planning locally.
The article notes that, like many parts of Britain the result of recent development has been the all too familiar – cookie-cutter developments, built often to a poor standard. Often the developments never address local needs for affordable flats and houses or homes for social rent. Shared space is thin on the ground; and if the development is claimed as “mixed use”, but this often means a small retail units. Cost pressure mean local councils have tended to retreat from any strategic oversight, regeneration policies are often lacking and developer schemes fill the gap.
A site in the middle of Frome was the subject of a successful application from a conventional developer Acorn for high density blocks of dwellings.
A 'not for profit social enterprise' called Mayday Saxonvale has now got involved promoting an alternative scheme for the site, which has now been consented!!
Mayday Saxonvale has linked up with an avowedly socially responsible developer called Stories (one of 1,500-plus UK companies now accredited as a B-corp, which denotes high social and environmental standards).
Mayday Saxonvale has also via a Judicial Review now had the original Acorn obtained planning approval on a site refused due to it failing to meet Local Plan conditions.
An interesting story which is still evolving.
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