Council set to buy Five Acres site for £1

Homes England have received ministerial approval from the Right Hon Robert Jenrick, Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government, to dispose of the Five Acres site to Forest of Dean District Council for £1.

In order to comply with the acquisition terms, Forest of Dean District Council will be moving ahead with the redevelopment of the site as soon as possible, meaning that the Forest of Dean will soon have a destination leisure facility that residents and visitors can enjoy. A detailed business case must be presented to full Council to allow consultations and planning approval before demolition and construction can commence. The Council expect to break ground on the site within three years.

Cllr Tim Gwilliam, Leader of the Forest of Dean District Council said: “I am delighted that, following endless letters and emails, phone calls and lobbying the Secretary of State has given Homes England permission to transfer ownership of the Five Acres site to FODDC. To actually receive official notification is indeed tremendous and very welcome news. It's been a long time coming, and I want to thank the people of Berry Hill and Coleford, members of FANS and the communities of the Forest for keeping faith and allowing us time to secure the deal.

“Soon we will have ownership of the site, which means we can look to the future and look to deliver upon both community aspiration and leisure provision requirements. There is much work to be done!

“We can create something very special, that is sustainable, viable, leads the way environmentally and brings employment and other opportunities. I am sure the whole Council will play an active role in the development of what I am currently calling Destination Five Acres.

“Our officers at FODDC are owed my thanks for their sheer determination and hard work, and I’d also like to offer thanks to MP Mark Harper, Homes England and numerous Ministers of State for all they have done.

“This is just the start, now the real work begins. We may not be able to deliver to everyone's aspirations but we will deliver something for the people that the Forest of Dean District can be proud of.”

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