PLanning Application for the field adjacent to the orchard

Dear friends of the orchard

Many of you have contacted us recently regarding the planning application for commercial units that has been submitted for the field to the east of the orchard. 

This story goes back to 2015, when the field was controversially taken out of the green wedge. We are investigating the feasibility to appeal this ruling, but currently the field is no longer part of Taunton’s green wedge and we need to bear this in mind when commenting on the current application.

Since then, there have been a number of planning applications submitted, notably the 2017 submission for electrical STOR units which was turned down following many objections from the local community.

Having reviewed the current application and the timeline of the applications relating to the site and their accompanying documents, it is the view of the orchard team that we are unlikely to prevent development of some sort going forward. However, it is our duty to the orchard to ensure that any development is undertaken in line with the Case Officer’s Report and Recommendation relating to application number 34/16/0029, dating back to August 2016. The relevant points from this report are detailed below and are sympathetic to the orchard and the surrounding green space. 

So, in summary, if anyone wants to submit a comment on the SWAT planning portal (and we would encourage you to do so), please feel free to cut and paste the following:

Given that permission has been granted to take the site in question out of Taunton’s green wedge, whilst I do not agree with the proposed plans, I would like to remind Somerset West and Taunton of the findings of the Case Officer’s Report and Recommendations from application number 34/16/0029 in particular, the following points:

11.  Details of the means of construction and noise reduction measures for units within 70m of the boundary with the Community Orchard shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority prior to their construction and shall thereafter be carried out as agreed. 

Reason: In the interests of protecting the amenity of the adjacent community facility. 

12.  All existing trees on site shall be protected in accordance with BS5837:2005 Trees in relation to construction and the off site trees and hedge on the eastern boundary shall also be protected during construction in the same manner. 

Reason: In the interests of the visual amenity of the area in accordance with Taunton Deane Local Plan Policy EN8. 

14.  No development shall take place until the applicant, or their agents or successors in title, has secured the implementation of a programme of archaeological work in accordance with a written scheme of investigation which has been submitted by the applicant and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall be carried out at all times in accordance with the agreed scheme or some other scheme that may otherwise be agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. 

Reason: To ensure the preservation of archaeological remains in accordance with Policy ENV4 of the Site Allocations and Development Management Plan, Policy CP8 of the Taunton Deane Core Strategy and the relevant guidance in Section 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework. 

It is also worth noting that since the original report Frieze Hill Community Orchard is now protected under the Fields in Trust scheme due to its historical connection to World War 1, we are quite sure that the applicant and managing agents would wish to ensure they respect and adhere to the respective covenants regarding this status.

As a result, we will continue to be vigilant with regard to all planning applications submitted and request that we are kept informed and consulted regarding future plans, applications or activity.  


About Us


A Little History

The orchard was set up in 2003, the land used to form part of the adjacent allotments. It was originally conveyed to the Council at the end the First World War by Henry Gribble Turner with a restrictive covenant that the land could only be used for food production. Mr Turner was concerned about food shortages and wanted to provide land where local people could grow their own. The land had fallen into disuse for a time before the community orchard was established. The orchard has a strong base of 'friends' in the local community and is run by volunteers. 


Activities & Achievements

  • We have planted 140 trees, including some very old varieties apples such as Tom Putt, James Grieve, Blenheim Orange and Ribston Pippin to name but a few. There are also damsons, quinces, medlars, plums, pears and hazelnuts.
  • Mixed hedging has been planted between the orchard and allotments.
  • Trees can be planted by anyone in the local community to celebrate an event or remember a loved one, please contact us for further details.
  • Key events in our annual calendar include Apple Day and Wassail, which attracts around 350 people and is led by The Lord of Misrule, with a bonfire, the Big Noise Street Band and The Mummer's Play performed by Taunton Thespians.


Become a Friend of The Orchard

By being a Friend you give much needed support and funds to the Community Orchard. Most of our income is from Friends’ subscriptions.

We ask Friends of the Community orchard to pay an annual subscription of £7 per person or £10 for a couple, per calendar year. Subscriptions are usually renewed at or around the time of our Annual General Meeting.

As a Friend you will receive occasional newsletters and updates about the Community Orchard, be invited to our AGM and to other events and activities taking place in the Orchard.

To join, download a friends form, fill it in and send it with your subscription to the address shown.

Thank you for your support.

Useful Documents

Here's a form to download and complete 

if you would like to become a friend of the orchard along with our Constitution and Management Agreement if you want to learn a little more about us.


Tuesday 10th March 2020

Orchard AGM

7pm - 9pm

The Elms Tennis Club, Linden Grove, Taunton

Event Details

Tuesday 10th March 2020

Orchard AGM

The year in review.  Natalie Frobisher of Somerset West and Taunton Council will speak to us about Taunton's Garden Town status.

7pm - 9pm

The Elms Tennis Club, Linden Grove, Taunton

Saturday 16th January 2021


5pm - 7pm

Frieze Hill Community Orchard

Event Details

Saturday 16th January 2021


The highlight of the orchard year.  Help us wake up the trees to ensure a good Autumn harvest.  Music, Theatre, Food, Bonfire.  The biggest and best Wassail in Somerset?  We think so ....

5pm - 7pm

Frieze Hill Community Orchard

Help Our Cause

Your support and contributions help us to maintain the orchard and support our annual events which are enjoyed by up to 700 local people every year.

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

Contact Us

Kevin Phillips - Chair


Telephone: 07966 658228

Frieze Hill Community Orchard

Taunton, Somerset, England, United Kingdom

Drop us a line!