Enhancing the natural environment at Saxonvale, Frome

May 12, 2020

The former industrial site Saxonvale has laid empty for over a decade, becoming a vacant eyesore for Frome Town. Following the purchase of the site by Mendip District Council and subsequent partnership with Acorn Property Group, the exciting redevelopment of this long-derelict site will bring a vibrant mixed-use neighbourhood to life along the banks of the River Frome. Subject to planning, summer/autumn 2020 will see the site undergo major operations in preparing for its redevelopment, with enabling works taking place to include decontamination, demolition and re-levelling the ground surface. Despite challenges faced due to the wider effects of Covid-19 Acorn is still progressing with the planning application.

Now more than ever, Acorn recognises the importance of outside space and the immediate environment and understands that in order for Saxonvale to be a good neighbourhood it must offer a wide range of qualities, to make living and working there attractive, enjoyable and have a positive contribution to wellbeing; one being the quality of the surrounding natural environment. At Saxonvale, Acorn will positively enhance biodiversity throughout the site, maintaining existing ecological habitats and bringing new opportunities to nurture over time.

Landscape Architect, Matthew Wigan has designed the scheme to promote biodiversity by incorporating numerous green elements from footpath and cycle links, street trees, private external space in the form of balconies to generous public open space and the new Riverside Park. Matthew describes “The Riverside Park is an amenity for the community but it is also a valuable ecological habitat. We want to create a network of green links throughout the scheme, designed for biodiversity with places for residents to meet, sit, talk, exercise and enjoy being outdoors.”

The new Riverside Park will be characterised by open grassland and woodland for recreational use, featuring timber play equipment selected to fit in with the natural character of the space. While a woodland walk will form a secondary access route to the park with natural play features such as logs to provide a range of play opportunities.

Acorn has listened to comments raised through the consultation process and improved Garsdale Avenue to reduce on-street parking, with new planting and communal seating areas included to provide better quality space for pedestrians. As part of a broader site-wide planting programme which will be implemented with the intention to plant in excess of 80 new trees in the public open space; where some of these trees will be able to grow to substantial mature sizes, as well as including smaller urban trees and hedgerows to bring character and amenity to the public realm. Emphasis will be on urban green space; ensuring existing mature trees are maintained and the additions of new native species of trees enhance the site’s green infrastructure and improve the natural aesthetics of the scheme while supporting biodiversity.

Social gardening opportunities will also be provided for apartment residents at Saxonvale. Where those who live in an apartment can have the opportunity to change and influence the built environment surrounding them and enjoy gardening activities by taking responsibility for maintaining their associated planting areas. Supporting the sense of community, space will be given to promote health and wellbeing with raised planters for veg production and lawn areas where local residents can come together for enjoyment and relaxation.

A full biodiversity ecology study has been undertaken by Clarkson and Woods which has informed the design of the scheme to identify areas known for biodiversity value and safeguard existing species and habitats. Peter Timms, Ecologist at Clarkson and Woods explains “The River Frome is a major ecological asset and represents an important connective link for wildlife through the town. The scheme has been sensitively designed to preserve the river and its wooded bankside habitat, ensuring its value for wildlife will be maintained.”

Natural springs also occur on the site, so appropriate measures will be taken to incorporate these into creative water management solutions and sustainable opportunities such as natural drainage swales to provide urban cooling. Linear gravel swales can convey heavy rainfall and act as irrigation for planting areas, with native wetland wildflower planting in and around these swales to provide an attractive natural area.

In addition, further measures will be taken to encourage nesting birds and roosting bats such as integrating bird boxes and bat roost boxes into the design.

For all the latest news on Saxonvale please visit www.saxonvaleredevelopment.org

 

Blog

Related Posts

See all

Somerset – find out more about this glorious county!

Somerset, the county with the trendiest reputation in the South West Not only is Somerset a mecca for Londoners looking for a country escape, it’s a foodie odyssey, a bohemian bolthole and a cultura
More >>

The Beauty of Bruton, Somerset

Located in the heart of Somerset lies Bruton, a town rich in history and culture From streets filled with historic buildings and period homes, to independent boutiques and outstanding eateries, Bruton
More >>

Top Tips for Getting Your Garden Spring-Ready

Long nights, frosty temperatures, and plenty of drizzle – it’s fair to say UK winters can be a challenge! When the clocks finally go forward, it really does feel like the end of a lengthy hibernat
More >>

A Q&A with Mike Gahir, from Lakes Showering Spaces

Here we talk to Mike Gahir, Managing Director at Lakes Showering Spaces, an innovative manufacturer of shower enclosures and spaces, to discuss how Acorn’s commitment to creating a cleaner supply ch
More >>

How to buy a home with Acorn

10 STEPS TO BUYING A HOME WITH ACORN Buying a house is an exciting milestone but a daunting prospect at the same time, but we’re here to help guide you through the process and make it as easy as po
More >>

Meet Jacqui, Our Design and Development Manager

As it's National Careers Week, we talk to Jacqui, our Design and Development Manager based in London, who has forged a fantastic and interesting career in the property industry - here she talks about
More >>

Discover Exmouth

Sandwiched between Somerset and Cornwall, Devon has so much to offer whether you choose to move to the North or South, but the common element across the whole of Devon is the beautiful scenic views
More >>

Thinking of selling your home? Read our Top Tips!

Top Tips on Selling Your Home Are you thinking of selling your home this year At Acorn we have seen a seasonal trend of of house searches and enquiries increasing in January, so now could be a great
More >>

Planning Permission Submitted For The Regeneration of Baltic Wharf, Totnes

Planning Permission Submitted For The Regeneration of Baltic Wharf, Totnes Baltic Wharf Developments Ltd submits planning application following extensive consultation Following an extensive cons
More >>

Urchfont Primary School children see construction in action at Hazel Green

Children from Urchfont Primary School had a special tour of our new Hazel Green development, including a look at how the homes have been constructed and demonstrations of site machinery in action O
More >>

Discover the beautiful Cotswold village of Greet

Greet is a charming small village located in the county of Gloucestershire It is situated in the picturesque Cotswolds region and is known for its breath-taking countryside and magical honey coloured
More >>

Discover the wonders of Lee Bay

Two coastlines – one wild, one calm – two National Parks – one dramatic, vast and wild, one green, tranquil and soft Granite-topped peaks, turquoise bays and soft, sandy beaches Dolphins can be
More >>