rating button

Coronavirus (COVID-19) For information on changes to our services, what you can do to protect yourself, support your community and guidance to assist employers and businesses visit our Coronavirus pages.

Local Plan 2041

All planning authorities have to produce a Local Plan. The Local Plan guides future development and sets out policies, against which planning applications are considered. The current Local Plan consists of a number of documents which set out an overall strategy to guide development across the District until 2026. 

We are currently preparing a new Local Plan for the Forest of Dean District which will replace the existing plan. The local plan will:

  • set out how the Forest of Dean will develop over the next 20 years to 2041
  • help deliver new homes and jobs and safeguard the environmental assets we value.

Latest news

The Local Plan review goes through a number of stages of preparation and we are at the start of the plan process - the issues and options. Finding out what big issues affect the District and looking at options for addressing them are important steps in producing the Local Plan.

A consultation was held from Tuesday 17 September 2019 to 4.30pm on Thursday 31 October 2019. This has now closed.

The comments received during the consultation are now able to view via the consultation webpage

All comments received will be used to help us prepare the Local Plan for the Forest of Dean. You will have a chance to comment again on the document when we have prepared a draft version.

To read the full document and for further information please

Frequently asked questions

What is a Local Plan?

A local plan is a key document that sets out the planning policies for their area. The Local Plan is used to guide decisions on planning applications for development.

It will identify land for housing, jobs, local services and supporting infrastructure to meet the needs of local people over the next 20 years and include policies to protect and enhance our historic and natural environment. 

Local Plans must be positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national policy set out in National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the national Planning Practice Guidance online resource (PPG).

A Local Plan is produced by the Local Planning Authority in consultation with local people and organisations.

What does a Local Plan do?

The Local Plan will allocate land for new housing and employment, to provide for the future needs of local communities.

The Local Plan also sets limits to the extent which towns and villages can grow into the surrounding countryside.

It provides strategies on how to protect the places we care about, like historical buildings, parks and town centres. It also guides the design of new places so that they are pleasant, attractive and respond to local needs.

Does the Forest of Dean have a current local plan?

The Forest of Dean has a current local plan which consists of a number of documents including the Core Strategy, Allocations Plan and Cinderford Northern Quarter Area Action Plan. These will continue to be used in decision making until the new local plan is adopted. However the work on the new Local plan progresses, emerging policies could start to influence decisions on planning applications. Once the plan is adopted it will replace the existing documents. 

How often is the Local plan reviewed?

A local plan must be reviewed every five years after it is adopted to ensure its policies still reflect national guidance. Some policies may be carried over.

What stages are involved in the preparation of the local plan?

The Local Plan preparation must follow a number of stages to ensure the local community and stakeholders are fully engaged in the process:

  • Issues and options: 
    The development of issues and options is the first opportunity for residents, businesses and other interested parties to be involved in planning for our future.

  • Draft Local Plan:   
    Your views on the Issues and Options, along with the evidence that supports the Local Plan and the outcome of the Sustainability Appraisal will be used to help develop our new Local Plan to the next stage when we will produce a draft plan. We will ask for your comments on the draft plan. After this consultation we will update the draft plan based on your comments and agree a publication version.

  • Publication draft of the Local plan  
    The publication version of the plan is the final version that will be submitted to the Secretary of State. This is a stage where we request more formal comments and the comments made form part of the evidence used in the public inquiry/examination of the plan which follows. Only comments received at this stage will be considered by the Inspector during the examination.

  • Submission and Examination stage: 
    The plan will be submitted for examination so it can be formally adopted by the council.
  • Adoption
    The Inspector may direct that a plan be withdrawn, but will generally guide the examination to a point where he or she can recommend changes to the plan needed to make it sound (able to become part of the development plan). The plan will be adopted and given full weight in planning decisions.

How and when will local people be involved in preparing the new Local Plan?

There will be three stages to formally comment on the new local plan:

  • Issues and options: Autumn 2019
    We will ask for your comments on what you feel are the issues facing the Forest of Dean and the options we have to address them. The information gathered at this issues and options stage will be used to produce a draft plan.

  • Draft Local Plan:  Autumn/Winter 2020/2021
    We will ask for your comments on the draft plan. After this consultation we will update the draft plan based on your comments and agree a publication version.

  • Publication draft off the Local plan:  Summer 2021
    The publication version of the plan will be made available for formal representations. Only comments received at this stage will be considered by the Inspector during the examination.

Can I asked to be notified about the progress of the Local plan? 

If you would like to be kept informed about the progress of the Local Plan and other planning policy documents, please register to join our local plan database:

Where can I find out more on the Local plan?

All of the information relevant to the new local plan can be found on our website:

or contact a member of the Local Plan team 

  • email Local Plan team
  • write to: Local Plans, Forest of Dean District Council, Council Offices, High Street, Coleford, Gloucestershire, GL16 8HG
  • phone 01594 810000 and ask for local plan team

How can I comment during the various consultations?


  • 01594 810000