Have your say on the future of development in the Forest of Dean

map of the forest of dean showing development potential and constraints

The Forest of Dean District Council has started work on a new Local Plan, the overarching aim of which is to explore how best to accommodate the scale of growth and changes that are expected up to 2041, in a way which is sustainable and appropriate.

The draft Local Plan is in its early stages and the Council are now seeking views on the key issues and options for the district’s future.  At this early stage in plan preparation, further work needs to be done and evidence gathered before detailed policies can be developed or potential sites for the allocation of housing etc can be identified. Therefore, the current live consultation considers the distribution of development at settlement level and responses are being sought on the consultation from all relevant stakeholders and members of the local community.

The deadline for representations is 4.30pm Thursday 31 October 2019 and you can view full details here.

Identifying the key planning issues and opportunities to be addressed

The scope of the Issues and Options consultation is to identify the key planning issues and opportunities the revised Local Plan should address, including those relating to access to jobs and services, conserving heritage features, delivering affordable housing, design of new buildings & places, employment land & opportunities, supporting town centres, transport and infrastructure etc.

The Council makes clear that the single biggest new use of land will be to accommodate additional housing. Based on the current housing targets of 330 dwellings per year (or 6,600 over 20 years), this means that the new Local Plan will need to identify enough suitable land to accommodate for about a further 4,200 houses, once existing permissions have been accounted for.

This means that at the current housing density target of 30 dwellings per ha, a further 140 ha of new land for housing will need to be identified in the new Local Plan. Furthermore, employment land for services and transport links and associated infrastructure will need to be considered to support these new homes.

How might development growth be accommodated in the Forest of Dean

The Forest of Dean is also subject to several key constraints, including flood risk, the AONB and Special Areas of Conservation. The careful balance that the Local Plan needs to strike, is identifying suitable opportunities for new housing land which are viable enough to attract developers and are supported by suitable infrastructure, while considering the environment and existing communities.

At present, 4 broad options are being proposed as part of the consultation into how growth might be accommodated within the district. These are:

  1. Expansion of a selection of existing settlements;
  2. Incremental expansion across all settlements;
  3. New, master planned settlement;
  4. Agreement between neighbouring districts to accommodate FoDD’s housing targets.

Views and feedback are being sought on these and a wide range of potential issues relating to managing growth in the region to 2041.

Does your site have development potential?

We are experienced in helping clients understand the development potential of their site.  Our PlanTech team have developed mapping systems which undertake specific analysis to highlight the opportunities and constraints of your site or potential sites.  To give you a flavour of this, our team have run the Forest of Dean District through our map analysis and have already identified areas that are subject to development constraints (coloured orange on the image above).  However, the areas outlined in red present potential areas for development opportunity.

Through our development appraisals, we can provide you with a nuanced understanding of the positives and pitfalls of your site and an appropriate strategy to help move develop forwards on site.

How we add value to local plan consultations

Our mapping systems are not restricted to just one site, but we can expand our search horizons and levels of appraisal to review growth at hamlet, village, town and even city level.  We are adept at making robust representations and if you are seeking help in preparing a considered and proactive response to FODD’s Issues and Options Consultation, then do feel free to contact our team to see how we can best assist via

Read more about The Forest of Dean Issues and Options Consultation here.

IMAGE SOURCE: Plainview Planning 2019