Five Acres site

Project background

Forest of Dean District Council would like to become an enterprising and commercially focused Council which people are proud to work for and which others want to work with. In October 2018, the Council agreed to purchase the Five Acres site from Homes England. The current position is that Homes England are reviewing the disposal of this site.

The ambition is to develop a new Council owned destination leisure facility to add to existing facilities, improve the health and well-being of Forest residents and to increase the numbers of visitors coming to the area. To help the whole project financially, the new leisure use will need to be accompanied on site by some form of enabling development – this is likely to be some form of commercial use or a modest residential scheme.

Detailed Governance Arrangements have been put in place for this ambitious project. Over the coming months the Five Acres Programme Board and Project Team will be working with specialist consultants to look into the future viability of our aspirations for this site.

In the short-term, survey and technical feasibility work will be undertaken to test realistic options for the site. As these options emerge, a programme of community consultation will be designed to enable people to comment on how the concept designs are shaping up. A Consultation Forum will be established for this purpose and this Council web page will be regularly updated to share news and information on this exciting project.

Project Documents

You can view and download Action Plans, Risk Registers and Governance Structure here:


Action Tracker - November 2018

Action Tracker - December 2018


Risk Register 19.04.19

Action Tracker - January 2019

Action Tracker - February 2019

Timeline - February 2019

Action Tracker - March 2019

Action Tracker - April 2019

2019 Governance Structure

Image above: Former Gloucestershire College Forest of Dean Campus Site

Image above: Former Freedom Leisure Coleford Site

Planning context

Forest of Dean District Council - Allocations Plan

Policy AP 58 within the District Council’s adopted Allocation Plan allocates the wider Berry Hill/ Five Acres 18 hectare site for mixed development to include community facilities (sport & recreation space) and for employment with retention of green open space for recreation.  To include at least 0.7 hectare for employment generating uses which may include commercially based tourism and recreation enterprises. For more information, please:

West Dean Parish Council – Berry Hill, Christchurch and Edge End Neighbourhood Development Plan

NDP Policies FA 1.1, 1.2 & 1.3 expand upon the following policy objective for the Five Acres site:

  • To create a leisure and cultural destination at the Five Acres existing facilities, will become a tourist and community hub to develop employment, tourism, health and education.  To undertake an economic regeneration project that will bring employment and tourism to the area, protect and
  • enhance a cultural and recreational centre in the Forest of Dean, and create a vibrant community hub.  To create starter/affordable homes in partnership with the FoDDC on an agreed part of the site in line with identified aims of WDPC, partners and West Dean residents. 
  • For more information please: view West Dean Parish Council Neighbourhood Development Plan 

Site security

Site owners Homes England have secured the Five Acres site boundary with Heras style fencing and have a 24/7 site security presence on site. 

Five Acres High School has access rights over the one-way access loop road on the south-west boundary of the site.  The access road and bus parking bay have not been included in the boundary fencing to allow access to the school to operate normally.

Please report any concerns about site security or access issues to Homes England by: 

  • calling their 24/7 helpdesk number 01480 484011