Former Broadway Allotment Site Decision Imminent
Tuesday 4th August 2020
Broadway Allotment & Community Garden Association (BACGA) with Frome Town Council have continued their negotiations with Mendip District Council (MDC) to have the former allotment site transferred to Frome Town Council who will manage the site with the community through BACGA.
John Clarke Chair of the association told Frome Times: “We have reached a crucial stage and have been told a decision as to the Association being able to present our submitted proposal to the council members for consideration will be taken shortly” The association has continued, despite the Covid pandemic, to prepare our proposal. It sets out a number of areas including a detailed provisional site plan and management arrangements for the site. The proposal highlights how the site is the “last undeveloped green space in Frome and warrants protection from development” and the need “to protect and enhance the ecology and wildlife which lives on the site.”
John Clarke said “We are very hopeful the district council will recognise the importance of this site and the widespread community support for our proposal. We have support of a number of Frome councillors including Helen Sprawson-Wright who represents Oakfield area. This is an opportunity for MDC to provide a legacy to be proud of. A community asset which will benefit all the people of Frome.”
Ally Nelson secretary said, “If we are able to present our proposal to councillors and it is accepted it will be a landmark decision which will send a message to the community that the District Council has heard what we have said, and have taken the action needed to protect and enhance the wildlife of the site. This decision will have real health and wellbeing benefits for all the community. The space will appeal to all sections of the community - young and old, disabled and able-bodied, those with mental health difficulties and additional educational needs. We aspire to create a site for the benefit of all and for future generations.”
John Clarke who is a Mendip District Council councillor said “We recognise and support the council’s goal of using it’s land across Mendip for social housing which is so badly needed. However, this site has many challenges which make it unsuitable for housing which we have set out in our proposal document. We understand and agree it is a priority to build social housing but equally we must protect the decreasing green space in our town. We will not have the opportunity again to protect a site of such value and potential. We have seen increasing development on farmland surrounding the town and this is very likely to continue. Do we really want Frome to become an urban sprawl rather than a town which has special green spaces where wildlife thrive along side families and children to enjoy ? ”
Polly Coupland a landscape designer with a strong interest in ecological design who has drawn up the proposed site plan told the Frome Times “This is a unique opportunity and it would be a travesty if the council went against our proposal which has so much support across the town and the town council. Living adjacent to the site our family already benefits from the wildlife including badgers which live on the site. We want to make it accessible to the whole community not just the few who know and live closeby. We can not only protect the existing wildlife but improve and enhance the area providing a place for people and wildlife to live in harmony. It would be an amazing place, something to be proud of and treasure. The first step is for the district council to transfer the land to Frome Town Council with their support and resources and the community we can make it happen.”
The proposal can be viewed on the BA&CGA facebook page and website (the full document) www.broadwayallotments.com.