FROME residents are being asked to give their thoughts on amended proposals for more than 1,700 new homes.

Outline plans were submitted in August 2021 for the Selwood Garden Community (SGC), which would see green fields between the A361 and the southern edge of Frome transformed into a new community.

A decision on the initial plans, which promised to deliver new employment sites, a primary school and other facilities, was delayed in April 2022 after National Highways raised concerns about how the development would affect the capacity of the A36 between Frome and Bath.

Revised proposals put forward by Land Value Alliances in September 2022, relocating the homes planned on the southern side of the A361 proposals.

The developer has put forward further changes aiming to improve the site’s environmental impact – with Somerset Council expected to make a decision on the plans by the end of the year. Around a third of the homes will be affordable, the equivalent of 510, which will be a mixture of social rented, shared ownership and other low-cost options.

The development will also include a centre and community hub (which will include shops, restaurants and offices), more than 25,000 sqm of employment space, two residential care homes, a 420-place primary school, playing fields, allotments, orchards and new pedestrian and cycle routes.

A spokesman for Grassroots Planning (representing the developer said): “While there has been a small reduction in the quantum of mitigating habitat for horseshoe bats, the area still represents a significant net gain over the existing conditions on the application site, such that the proposed development should be judged as having a beneficial effect on local populations.

“The removal of the proposed all-weather pitch will be replaced with off-site contributions, which will fund improvements to pitch facilities at Frome Rugby Football Club and Frome Town United Football Academy.

“These mitigation measures have been agreed with Sport England and have been calculated to provide the same benefit in respect of pitch provision as the all-weather pitch and grass pitch that has been removed.”

Andrew Edwards, who lives in Frome, said there had been a “blatant disregard” by the applicant of expert advice regarding the archaeological impact of these homes, and questioned whether any of the new community benefits would actually be delivered.

He said: “It is time to name and shame the chartered archaeologists that work for these property developers since nothing else works.

To have your views on the plans, visit this website and search for planning reference number 2021/1675/EOUT before March 31.