In which I point something out to John Harris

The mere idea that there are 7,000 – more – people who wish to live in Frome is a shocker to those who know the locality. So, something must be called into evidence to explain that. As well as the absurdity that people seem to be, voluntarily, buying new builds in Peasedown St John of all places.

The answer being that no one is allowed to build housing where people would actually like to live. Midford, Freshford, Monkton Farleigh, Monkton Combe, Combe Hay, South Stoke and so on (for a moving pictures view of these places, the area the Titfield Thunderbolt was filmed in). Or even Lyncombe Vale – all would still avoid Combe Down of course – and other such delightful areas as Dunkerton etc.

So, why is the housing not where people would like it to be and why is it therefore dumped in Frome, where the locals don’t want it and those who will have to live in it don’t want to be?

We could file this under “A Bathonian writes…..”

8 thoughts on “In which I point something out to John Harris”

  1. I lived in Frome 🙂

    It was perfectly pleasant. Good access as well. Mind you, I spent a couple of years beforehand living in Swindon, so maybe I’m just comparing it to something worse!

  2. ‘coz the present population of Frome is dominated by middle income woke white flighters who’re spaffing their cashed-in London equity and they are likely not overly bothered by an increase in urbanisation ?

    I suspect that a scoping of the demographic would show that -as ever- price is driving the market – i.e. sell up + scamper from tier 1 commuter belt, buy outright and have say 5 years contingency money in the bank to enjoy the “country” life.

    The “nice” village housing subjectively garners a premium and likely the developers keep a lid on individual developments to swerve any social housing that might lower the tone of the place… (and knock a hole in the profits)

    just my opinion ….

  3. “I suspect that a scoping of the demographic would show that -as ever- price is driving the market – i.e. sell up + scamper from tier 1 commuter belt, buy outright and have say 5 years contingency money in the bank to enjoy the “country” life.”

    Looked at Frome. Sold in the Chilterns. Best wishes from Lincolnshire.

  4. Bit interesting, this (for given values of “interesting”, anyway).

    The proposal Harris is wibbling on about is one of those Garden City/Town/Community thingamybobs, being relatively new things, post-2016. So, of course it’s going to be relatively large, and whoever’s involved has probably got a whiff of central government funding up their nostrils. On the face of it, 1,700 dwellings with 7,000 extra residents (so lots and lots of 3 beds) would expand the population by about a quarter, and the housing stock by about a fifth. Eventually.

    Tim would know the area an awful lot better than I would, so Frome is kinda in the middle of a couple of diagonals, bounded by four AONBs. One hour’s travel time (driving) from eight in the morning gets you to Bath, not quite Bristol, sorta Salisbury, but definitely Warminster, Trowbridge, Devizes, Melksham etc.

    Demographics gives 40%-ish of the population between the ages of 30 and 60. That feels about right, given that Frome apparently doubled in size during the 1980s, thirty/forty years ago.

    Why did that happen?

  5. Somerset (real Somerset that is, I don’t include Bath) does seem less nimby than most. Loads of new housing in Wellington too, and that’s a lot uglier than Frome.

  6. Poundbury is the Gold Standard ?

    A Waitrose too – with no competition last time I was there.

    The optics are quite nice though I have to say – compared to the super dense single track labyrinths with hundreds of pavement parked cars that predominate in Persimmon world.

  7. The answer being that no one is allowed to build housing where people would actually like to live. . . .
    So, why is the housing not where people would like it to be . . .

    This is a bit like one of those Guardian “in spite of” moments. People want to live in places that aren’t all fucked up with the shit developments that would enable them to live there.

  8. @Rupert

    I lived in Frome It was perfectly pleasant

    My mum lived in Frome for many years until ~2008, holidays there were nice. Bit like 1980s, no woke, green crap just yokels and that was nice. However, I did spot the drug dealers – very obvious, but no police. Shame if it’s now gone full woke

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