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Local Plan Preferred Option

Why we are consulting on the Preferred Option

Every Council needs an up to date Local Plan we have started to consider what should go into ours.  The first steps were taken last year and were set out in a document that considered “issues and options”.  The Plan needs to consider numbers of new houses needed and protect the environment, as well as detail ways this might be done. For example, add to existing towns and villages, build a new settlement or a combination of these while avoiding land that is protected. It also needs to help with the climate emergency by considering building design, access to services, travel and employment.

After asking for views on issues and options, we have decided to look in greater detail at an approach which meets our needs using a combination of adding to existing towns and villages as well as building a new settlement.  This is presently thought to be the best approach but everyone’s views are now being sought about this and whether there may be better alternatives. 

We would like to hear from anyone who has views on this, the preferred option for the Local Plan.  This will not be the last chance to become involved in the process. It is a time when we can consider comments before any decisions about what we think should go where have been made. 

Background to the Preferred Option

We are preparing a new Local Plan to replace the present Allocations Plan and Core Strategy and provide planning guidance up to 2041. 

The new Local Plan will:

  • play an important role in the Council’s overall strategy
  • deliver policies for environmental protection and improvements
  • contribute as much as possible to the need for carbon reduction

In 2019 we identified and consulted on a range of issues and options. Taking into account feedback received we have developed a preferred option, which has been endorsed by Cabinet and Council. It is still subject to evaluation including possible alternatives, potential sites and policies.  At this stage specific sites are not identified although general areas considered appropriate for development are referred to. 

Comments are welcome which support or seek to modify the strategy, propose alternative sites and suggest that the strategy should be changed in any way. Representations proposing specific sites or confirming support for those we are already aware of (for instance through the SHLAA process) are welcome. 

The Strategic Option and Cabinet Report (opens as a PDF) are available here to show how the strategies have been considered and recommend one approach. 

You can also view a map of constraints (for example, conservation areas, recreation areas) and potential settlement areas. To use the map type in postcode or area. You can then zoom in and click on different parts of the map to get more information about the constraint.

This involves development at four strategic locations:

  • Lydney, largely based around the existing allocated sites to the east of the town
  • Newent, predominantly to the south east of the town
  • Beachley in connection with the current but likely to be vacated MoD base
  • in the vicinity of where the A40 and A48 meet

About half of the sites required will be from those already identified in existing plans, the rest will need to be identified.  The newly identified land will need to accommodate about 4000 dwellings and other development. 

Parts of the strategy are fixed (the use of existing committed sites), but no decisions have been made in respect of new allocations of any size. 

Take part in the consultation

Due to recent Coronavirus restrictions the consultation has been extended. Comments must now be submitted in writing before 29 January 2021.

There are three ways to submit your comments. By using our online portal or by:

  • emailing them to localplans@fdean.gov.uk
  • posting them to Local Plans, Forest of Dean District Council, High Street, Coleford, Gloucestershire, GL16 8HG
View and comment on the Preferred Option

The Local Plan process involves several more formal stages at which representations may be made before the contents of a plan are fixed. The final stage is a public examination which will examine the Plans policies and proposals. 

Planning process changes

We are aware of government consultations which seek to amend the planning process.  These currently have no weight and the Local Plan is being prepared under current regulations and guidance. If changes which affect the plan happen during the process we will take them into account.