Cinderford Northern Quarter Area Action Plan (Formal Adoption)
Leader of the Council, Councillor Patrick Molyneux to present report EDP.49 and the recommendation that the Council formally adopt the Cinderford Northern Quarter Area Action Plan.
Cllr Molyneux presented report EDP.49, commenting that the plan had been developed over many years and had included many consultations and processes. He thanked the Forward Plan team for its work in putting together the plan and conducting the exhaustive consultation. He understood Cllr Gardiner's concerns, but all interested parties had had the opportunity to contribute their views. There was now the exciting prospect of seeing the delivery of real benefits of regeneration.
Cllr Gardiner believed that the process had not been thorough and that there would be serious implications in adopting the plan. He thought that it was illogical to regenerate one town by degenerating another, if the college move took place. He had been involved for many years in seeking the best route for a much-needed bypass for Steam Mills and thought that phase one of the plan delivered almost all of the objectives. However he questioned the need to extend the route by a further two thirds of a mile, thus adversely affecting a bio diverse area of tranquillity and obliterating the district's mining heritage.
Cllr Martin said that she was confused at Cllr Gardiner's vision of that part of Cinderford, which had been an industrial area. She valued and used the town's woodland area, but this plan had been 30 years in the making and did conserve the environment. The people wanted action to regenerate that area to provide for the future.
Cllr Coborn endorsed the plan and read a letter from Steam Mills Primary School welcoming the diversion of heavy traffic from its doorstep.
Cllr Edey had fears that the site at Five Acres might be lost and that the town of Cinderford above the regeneration area would die. She did welcome an eco-centre at the Northern United site.
Cllr Morgan agreed that many routes had been considered. Having just come through a recession he believed that the current proposed route was the best the district would get to divert traffic from Steam Mills, the school and houses whose fronts were right at the roadside. He said that wildlife surveys had happened and would continue. Bat migration had been taken into consideration and English Heritage had walked the site, declaring no buildings to be of value, although he supported the retention of the manager's office as a fitting memorial to the area's mining heritage. He noted that no one had campaigned to support the last remaining example of a Cornish engine house at the Lightmoor works. Cinderford Town Council supported the plan and the conservation of Birchwood and Hawkwell enclosures. If left as it was, he could envisage the land being bought and used to park up lorries.
Cllr Molyneux proposed and Cllr Martin seconded the recommendation as at the agenda.
RESOLVED - To approve the Cinderford Northern Quarter Area Action Plan as modified following the Inspector’s recommendations, to enable this Development Plan Document to be formally adopted as part of the Forest of Dean District Local Development Framework.
Voting was as follows.
For (43) – Norman Stephens, Roger Yeates, Jim Connell, Gethyn Davies, Brian Jones, Brian Edwards, James Bevan, Judy Davis, Frankie Evans, Carole Allaway Martin, Marrilyn Smart, Len Lawton, Peter Ede, Marion Winship, Gabriella Kirkpatrick, Roy Birch, Julia Gooch, Ian Whitburn, Dave East, Philip Burford, Clive Elsmore, Paul Hiett, Graham Morgan, Max Coborn, Frank Baynham, Bill Osborne, Paul McMahon, Roger Sterry, David Thomson, Bernie O’Neill, Don Pugh, Bruce Hogan, Val Hobman, Lynn Sterry, Di Martin, Helen Stewart, Terry Glastonbury, Terry Hale, Diana Edwards, Martin Quaile, Patrick Molyneux, Brian Robinson, Jane Horne
Against (3) – Arthur Thomas, Maria Edey, Andrew Gardiner
Abstained (2) - Bill Evans, Jackie Fraser