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Major business park to expand near Frome

A business park on the outskirts of Frome will be able to expand further following a decision by Mendip District Council.

The Commerce Park lies off the A361 at the town’s eastern edge, and includes the Frome Flyer restaurant, a Premier Inn hotel and other businesses.

Nick Dowdeswell of Stonecutter Construction Ltd has now been granted permission to construct a new estate road leading off Cornbrash in the southern section of the park.

The council’s planning board gave the plans the green light when it met virtually on Wednesday evening (July 22).

The new road would connect Cornbrash to Imperial Way at the southern corner of the park, unlocking three new areas of the site.

In April, the council’s planning board gave the same company approval to build a spur road on Imperial Way to unlock three new plots of land for commercial units.

Planning officer Anna Clark said: “The proposal would facilitate the construction of some of the last plots of this well-established business park, for the benefit of the local economy.

“The new access road would tie into the existing and maintain highway safety standards.

“Due to the minor nature of the proposal, its continuation of the existing estate roads and its low-lying nature, there would be no adverse impact in visual terms, nor on adjoining properties.”

Since the business park was given planning permission in 2004, the council has had a policy that all decisions over its future should only be made at its public meetings, rather than by its planning officers behind closed doors.

Officers tried to overturn this in October 2019, arguing that asking councillors to make decisions could cause delays and put off businesses from coming to the town.

But councillors threw out this request, expressing their desire to protect residents who live near the site.

At a virtual meeting on Wednesday (July 22), councillors voted to approve the plans for the Cornbrash road without further discussion.

Neither of the new roads will form part of the adopted highway network – meaning the businesses who use the site, rather than Somerset County Council, will be responsible for its upkeep.

By Daniel Mumby, Local Democracy Reporting Service

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