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Developing our new Residential Design Guide

We are updating the Residential Design Guide for the Forest of Dean District. We have asked residents and communities to share their views on what they believe makes the area such a great place to live, in turn helping to shape the Forest of Dean Residential Design Guide. Stage 1 of the process finished on 21st July 2022. During this initial stage nearly 150 people completed a survey on local design and character, sharing photos of places they live.

In the Autumn we'll continue the process of consultation to inform the update of the Design Guide by running a workshop for planners, agents, developers and others.

The aim will be to agree what the updated Residential Design Guide should cover, how much detail it should (and maybe shouldn’t) go into and how it will be used by developers, the District Council and communities.

This exercise is being operated by our specialist design consultants Place Studio on the Councils behalf. For further information go to the Residential Design Guide consultation webpage.

What is a Residential Design Guide?

Residential guide cover

The Residential Design Guide is used by the Council to assess whether the design of new homes, and other residential developments such as extensions, meet the standards residents expect from developments in their area and add to, not damage, the highly distinctive character of the Forest area. An updated Residential Design guide will enable the Council to have a stronger influence on design standards in planning applications, Also, due to national changes giving greater importance to good design, the new Guide is an opportunity to raise standards on issues such as carbon reduction, easy access to facilities and more.


Leader of the Council, Councillor Tim Gwilliam said:

 “Nationally there have been many discussions on the need to make sure that new homes and other developments contribute to local identity and provide a standard of design that will stand the test of time.

We want to push hard to raise local design standards, helping to ensure that we can protect the beauty of the Forest for years to come.

We know of the pride that people have in the local area and understand that local views of the places and spaces we value must inform this Residential Design Guide. That is why we invite all residents of the Forest of Dean to submit their thoughts, photographs and ideas and help us shape the future of the Forest.”


An updated Residential Design guide will enable the Council to have a stronger influence on design standards in planning applications, enabling the Forest of Dean District Council to make sure that new designs celebrate, protect and even enhance local character. The new Guide is an opportunity to raise standards on issues such as carbon reduction, easy access to facilities and more.

To help inform of the new standards of design, the Council are updating the Residential Design Guide and would like residents to help create this by explaining what they believe makes their parish, village or town special and distinctive.

This exercise is being operated by our specialist design consultants Place Studio on the Councils behalf. To see how the data will be used see our Residential guide - Privacy notice. See also: Place Studio - Privacy notice