The Local Plan consultation is now closed. People's comments aren't visible at first, but at some point you will be able to see what others have said. A summary will be made as well.
In the meantime I can share the results of our own survey of just three wards. Forest of Dean Green Party leaflets containing the survey were delivered to some 4,800 residential properties in Newnham, Pillowell and Bream wards during the public consultation period. The following does not include responses to the Forest of Dean Green Party online questionnaire.
75 leaflet responses were returned — about 1.56% of the households leafleted. This is obviously only a small proportion of residents, but it is a higher proportion of target households than responded to the last (2020) Council public consultation. The results are here put forward, not as a representative sample of residents views, but as an insight into the views of those who were interested enough to respond to our survey. The settlements in the wards leafleted are villages and hamlets.
The first question asked how many houses the resident would like to see put forward for their own village. 54% said that they didn’t want any new houses in their village and 46% said they would. Despite almost half supporting more houses being built in their own village, over 80% of respondents think that the numbers proposed for the major villages and other villages is too high. For both major and other villages, those who said that they would like over 40 new houses in their village (with the highest number at 100), thought that the village numbers are about right. At this stage with the actual numbers in any particular village unknown, residents have had to estimate a number that will be allocated for their own village in the next stage of the Local Plan process. 3% thought the housing number too low for the villages. 1% didn’t have a view with regard to major villages & 7% didn't have a view with regard to other villages.
74% of respondents think the number of houses for Lydney is too high, 9% thought the number about right and 8% too low. 8% didn’t have a view.
53% of respondents think the number of houses for Newent is too high, 14% thought the number about right and 7% too low. 26% had no view on the matter.
The views on Beachley are less divergent than for other settlements; 41% of respondents think the number of houses for Beachley is too high; 28% about right; 18% too low; 9% didn’t have a view.
Where should the houses go?
The last question asked residents to choose locations for where more of the houses should be allocated than is currently proposed. Respondents were invited to select more than one option. Cinderford was not put forward as an option as it is severely constrained.
Beachley was the most popular location with 36%.
This was followed by a New Settlement (if a suitable location can be found) with 34%.
20% think Coleford should take more houses and 14% felt the same about Lydney.
15% said they didn’t know where the houses should go.
Only 8% chose Newent and 3% chose the villages for more houses.
Some of the percentages don’t add up to 100 because they are the percentage of the survey respondents rather than the percentage of those who answered that question (as some people didn’t answer every question).
The percentages for the last question are also based on the total of respondents, (who were invited to select more than one option - meaning that the percentages add up to more than 100).