Sustaining our economy and supporting local people are key priorities for your District Council. When this Covid crisis ends – and it will – we’ll need to work with our communities, to build back better, one street at a time, one family at a time, one place at a time.
And I am happy to report some positive steps on the road to recovery have begun to take place already.
Last week outline planning permission, subject to conditions, was approved for a major development in Frome. The site – ‘Saxonvale’ – is a high quality, exemplar project, featuring contemporary and sensitive design, local features and quality materials to create character, identity and I know it will fill people with civic pride when completed.
There’s a river walk, which is great for the natural environment and wildlife. I am delighted that the veteran trees will be retained. There’s a good mix of housing too, including a social housing element which this Council is so keen to push forward. It’s pedestrian-friendly, and sustainable, with a focus on walking, cycling and energy efficient homes. And then there are the jobs that will be created to build it, and for those who will occupy its commercial spaces afterwards.
You can probably tell my enthusiasm for this place. That’s because when the District Council bought the land a few years ago it was a 10-acre brownfield site left derelict and unused for more than two decades. No one wanted it or knew what to do with it. Now, with the vision of developers Acorn Property Group, it’s set to flourish into a thriving post-Covid community hub in the heart of Frome.
And so, to another distinctly different and unique town – Glastonbury – and news of a once-in-a-lifetime, potential £25 million opportunity that’s unfolding there.
Last week an important document was submitted to Government, directly relating to the multi-million Town Deal funding opportunity Glastonbury is bidding for. It’s called the Town Investment Plan (TIP). This prospectus was written following direct engagement with key partners, local businesses, community groups, residents and Mendip District Council, as the lead authority.
The Plan includes proposals for renewed infrastructure, green energy, business development and higher skill levels. The need to secure investment, to sustain the local economy and address our urgent climate change issues, has never been more apparent in light of the global pandemic. The vision, innovation and ambition expressed in the proposals will see this historic Somerset town thrive to become fairer, greener and stronger.
There is good news out there! And I am genuinely looking forward to seeing these projects in Glastonbury and Frome come to life in the coming months and years ahead. The fight-back to a brighter future has begun …
Please feel free to write on these matters and more. I can be contacted either through my Facebook page, @Ros.Wyke, or via email: [email protected]. And if you or someone you know needs support during lockdown, the number for the Coronavirus helpline is 0300 790 6275.
Written by Cllr Ros Wyke, Leader of Mendip District Council
Please get in touch either on my Facebook page @Ros.Wyke or you can send me an email: [email protected].