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Forest of Dean District Council

Forest of Dean Local Plan

The Forest of Dean District Council began the process of reviewing its Core Strategy and associated plans in Autumn 2019, with the aim of having a new Local Plan in place by 2023. This is intended to cover the period up to 2041.

The second public consultation closed on 29 January 2021.

Our response to the consultation

Our Forest of Dean district committee submitted a comprehensive report to the Forest of Dean District Council as part of the consultation on the Forward Plan 2021-2041.  Please follow the link below to read the whole report.

In summary, CPRE believes that the setting of a housing target by central government which would see an additional 8000 houses built in the Forest is unsustainable in environmental, social and economic terms. Over the last decade the Forest has seen large estates built on the edge of its major towns and villages. As there is little new employment in the Forest, most new residents commute to work across the River Severn. They leave the area via the bottlenecks at Gloucester and Chepstow causing huge tailbacks with all its resultant pollution.

CPRE’s research also revealed that this has resulted in a significant gap between the wages of those working in the Forest, which are generally low, and those living here but working elsewhere. Additionally, the Council has failed to meet its own target for new affordable houses as developers favour more profitable larger homes.

To continue with this policy for the next 20 years will only result in a worsening of this picture and a worrying social and economic divide. CPRE supports policies that lead to thriving rural communities where there is local employment and affordable housing.

The Council is in a difficult position faced with such large housing targets from central government. But there is hope. New guidance issued by government in December 2020 suggest these are less to be seen as housing targets than as a starting point for discussions that provide an appropriate number of new houses for each area.

CPRE is encouraging the Council to work with central government to arrive at an achievable and appropriate number of new houses and has written to our MP, Mark Harper to seek his support. If a sensible number of new houses can be agreed it will avoid damaging the character of our existing towns and villages or having to build a large new settlement near Churcham.

Building on the assets of the Forest – its wonderful landscapes and the entrepreneurial character of its communities – a more sustainable model for the future of the area is surely within grasp.

Read our full response

What happens next

The consultation closed on 29th January 2021. All of the consultation responses are being analysed to inform the next stage of the emerging Local Plan.

The public will be asked for comment on the Draft Local Plan in Summer 2021. We will update this page as we have more information.

Local Plan Timeline

To contact Forest of Dean District Council re the local plan email:

What we do

We have 6 district committees who scrutinise Local Plans, the Joint Core Strategy and individual planning applications, and make representations where development would be particularly harmful with regards to the sustainability of the location and/or the impact of development on the landscape.

This work is carried out by our dedicated and passionate volunteer task force.

Our Forest of Dean district committee covers your area. If you’d like to speak with our committee please email and we’ll put you in touch.

We are looking for people in your area to join the Forest of Dean district committees on a voluntary basis. Find out more below.

Join your district committee