HUNDREDS of Frome residents formed a human chain against a key regeneration site in their town in support of the Mayday Saxonvale proposals, writes Daniel Mumby.

Mendip District Council has been working to clear the Saxonvale site to allow the Acorn Property Group to construct a development of 300 homes, commercial space and an arts and heritage venue, following the second approval of plans in September 2021.

The Mayday Saxonvale group has put forward alternative proposals for the site, which would see a smaller number of homes delivered along with more commercial space, a lido and the relocation of Frome’s primary schools.

More than 500 people showed their support for Mayday Saxonvale’s vision on Sunday (May 1) by encircling the site in what was dubbed ‘The Big Mayday Hug’.

Chains of people could be seen around the entirety of the site, from the Merchants Barton car park up and around Vicarage Street and down along the bottom end of Garsdale.

Mayday Saxonvale director Damon Moore said: “The support we have received from our community is incredible.

"So this May Day we wanted to give everyone an opportunity to get together in person and demonstrate to the council how much we all care about our town, and our Saxonvale.

“We are so humbled and gratified that more than 500 local residents came out in the rain to champion our alternative plan for Saxonvale.

“Saxonvale has lain empty and neglected for years and years, which is incredibly frustrating for us all here in Frome.

"This is an incredible asset for our community, and if developed right, could mean an enormous difference to our town.”

The site falls within the Frome West division, in which the following candidates are standing in the local elections taking place on Thursday (May 5):

Mendip District Council’s planning board will not consider the Mayday Saxonvale proposals at its next meeting, due to be held in Shepton Mallet on May 11.

Mr Moore said: “Our Mayday masterplan was submitted in October last year.

"We have been delayed twice, and are still awaiting a date for our planning decision.

“Saxonvale must be developed, and we are ready with the funding to buy the land from the council.

"We are ready to develop Saxonvale the way Frome deserves.”