UP to 1,700 new homes could be built in Selwood Garden Community new neighbourhood in Frome.

The sustainability driven masterplan sits on a greenfield site on the outskirts the town and has been designed by NVB Architects.

An outline planning application has been submitted and aims to deliver new homes, 30 percent of which will be affordable, a primary school, two care homes and leisure facilities.

Providing intimate neighbourhoods, community facilities and employment spaces set in the distinctive countryside of the River Frome valley, it will help Frome’s wider transition to a low carbon economy and support the town council’s One Planet Living Agenda.

Frome Town Council has declared a housing crisis in the town declaring a shortage of homes available to rent, meaning NVB’s masterplan comes at a crucial time.

Cllr Polly Lamb said: ‘Using houses as commodities rather than homes for the last 40 years has had a devasting effect on safe and secure housing in Frome.

"We need to represent our local population by both pressing for change, supporting where we can and making sure the issues stay high on our agenda."

Nature and healthy lifestyle is a key component of the vision for Selwood Garden Community.

It will transform privately owned land into community meadows, woodlands, orchards, parks, and allotments, creating a network of green spaces bringing nature into the fabric of the community.

An extensive network of footpaths and cycleways will lie at the heart of the new neighbourhoods, encouraging sociable interaction.

Housing neighbourhoods have been designed following the principles of ‘playing out’ championed in Bristol and reduced vehicle traffic will enable residential streets to become a safe place for doorstep play.

Andrew Simpson, of NVB Architects, said: ’Our vision for Frome is that new housing should be embraced as an opportunity and not a threat, but it must be planned in a comprehensive/strategic way – thinking about 15-20 years’ growth rather than piece-meal development which contributes nothing to local facilities and wider regional infrastructure.

"The opportunities which come from larger scale plans can be enormous – security of affordable provision, employment land, sporting facilities, transport infrastructure, allotments, solar farms and social facilities.

"With increased populations, towns are also more likely to retain facilities that smaller towns are losing.

"Frome should be crying out for new development. If we cannot deliver enough genuinely affordable homes for the next generation our legacy and communities will suffer."