Chapter 11


11.1 Bream is one of the largest villages in the Forest of Dean District with a population of 2600 in January 2000. It is just one of a number of settlements which make up the Forest Ring of settlements on the fringes of the statutory Forest. Positioned on the southern edge of the forest core between the towns of Lydney and Coleford, the village is set on a ridge of high ground, falling away on three sides. Development on these slopes is prominent within the surrounding open countryside.
11.2 Bream is a sporadic low density settlement located partially within the statutory Forest. Development displays characteristics typical of forest ring settlements. In contrast development outside the statutory Forest takes on a more consolidated form with concentrations of larger and more modern housing estates. The margins of the village generally comprise low density buildings spreading out into the forest margin. Many groups of these buildings are attractive when viewed with their settings. Due to the location of Bream within the fringe of the Forest, the village contains large areas of forest waste and open areas, including a substantial provision of formal recreation space. These areas are of great aesthetic value and provide important amenity spaces. These surroundings, and much of the agricultural land to the south, form part of the Special Landscape Area of the Plan.
11.3 Due to the haphazard way in which Bream has developed there is no clearly recognisable village centre. A considerable number of shops and other local facilities are well spread out along the extended High Street. This unplanned development of Bream has resulted in poor vehicular access to many parts of the village.
11.4 Despite a variety of constraints which limit potential for development the village has the capacity to absorb some development due to its size, range of shops and services and accessibility to the public transport network.
Development Strategy
11.5 The strategy for Bream will enable the continued development of land for housing within the settlement boundary in the form of outstanding commitments, a small new allocation, and other small groups and infilling. This will provide continued support for existing local services.
11.6 Much of the periphery of Bream which lies within the Forest boundary, open spaces consisting of Forest waste and other open land within the village, will be subject to policies to protect them from development. This approach recognises the very attractive qualities of the settlement form in these areas, which is worthy of retention.
11.7 The Strategy seeks to improve the built environment of Bream. Areas of particular concern are identified at the southern end of the High Street. The aim will be to improve the attractiveness of this area for those using local facilities and services and to enable the development of additional commercial uses. Issues of traffic management will need to be considered at the same time. Recent improvements to the B.4231 at the Winding Wheel will improve access to and from Bream along the secondary lorry route between Coleford and Lydney.
11.8 Two related areas of land outside the defined settlement boundary are identified for the development of new employment.
Built Environment
11.9 To the south-west of Bream, along the High Street, there are a number of opportunities for environmental improvements. During the previous Plan period environmental improvements were carried out in the area around the War Memorial. Further environmental improvements should continue during the Plan period to improve the attractiveness of the area for those using local services and facilities, and to provide for additional commercial uses. Policy (R)F.Bream 1 identifies the area where environmental improvements would generally improve the area and encourage greater levels of vitality and viability for commercial businesses.
Environmental Improvement Area



(R)F.Bream 1

A scheme of environmental improvements will be implemented to the south-west of Bream as identified on the Inset Map.

11.10 Policy (R)F.Bream 1 identifies land to the south-west of Bream which contains a number of commercial premises. A major constraint to the viability of these businesses is the lack of car parking and the safety of pedestrian users. The highway is narrow and lacks a footpath in places along its length. Any scheme for environmental improvements will include a review of traffic management to improve the highway environment for all users and the possibility of securing further off street public car parking.
11.11 The built environment identified by (R)F.Bream 1 shows some evidence of lack of investment. In particular several sites along the road frontage appear to offer possibilities for redevelopment or refurbishment. The Plan will support proposals for small scale residential or appropriate employment development which could utilise these sites. The New Inn is an important Listed Building and any proposals for change must respect its qualities. The Council will, during the period of the Plan, prepare a programme of environmental improvements for the south-west of Bream, to be implemented with the support of private landowners and the local community.
Natural Environment
11.12 The natural environment of Bream illustrates a distinctive landscape character, including important open and amenity areas including sites of forest waste, woodland, paddocks and large gardens. The Plan will protect these areas and the open countryside surrounding the village. The combination of protection for open and amenity spaces and poor vehicular access to some areas will significantly reduce opportunities for development within and adjacent to the settlement boundary.
11.13 From 1991 to the beginning of 2000 109 dwellings were completed in Bream. Planning consent exists for a further 43 dwellings, including one site of 25 dwellings at Breams Eaves.

Population (Village) Housing Stock (Village)
1981-2298 1981- 750
1991-2500 1991- 1000
2000-2600 2000- 1100

11.14 Up until 1993 the rate of residential development was relatively high primarily due to the construction of several large housing estates, both public and private (including 91 dwellings at Highbury Road), together with residential infilling. The Plan period to 2011 will provide for a slower rate of development growth in Bream.
Restriction on Development
(R)F.Bream 2

Residential development including infilling will not be permitted within the areas identified on the Inset Map. Exceptions will be made only where proposals would result in a significant improvement to the built environment or to amenity of the area. All new development will be required to complement the established and settled character of the area.

11.15 Policy (R)F.Bream 2 identifies areas of Bream which developed originally from encroachment upon the woodland areas and forest waste surrounding much of the village. These developments include a series of blocks of housing set in areas of forest waste and coniferous plantation. Planning policies have restricted development in these areas in recent years, to the extent that they have been much less subject to change than the remainder of the village. The established and settled character of the areas of Bream which lie within and adjacent to the forest margin should remain largely undisturbed. Large plots are a feature of these parts of Bream and Policy (R)F.Bream 2 seeks to restrict the potential for infilling which may otherwise occur. Poor access is often a feature of the areas defined.
11.16 Policy Policy (R)F.Bream 2 includes housing located along Parkend Road. This area of residential development is included because it shares the features of being an established area in attractive surroundings. The large plot sizes which are characteristic of these dwellings have the potential for further change, this would prove detrimental if carried out on a piecemeal basis.
Housing Allocation - Bream Woodside



(R)F.Bream 3

A site of 0.9 hectares at Bream Woodside is allocated for residential development. Development of the site will be required to provide for amenity and play space on approximately 0.3 hectares of the site.

11.17 (R)F.Bream 3 allocates an area of 0.9 hectares for residential development. Part of the site (around 0.25hectares) has an extant planning consent for housing. The remainder comprises a paddock and former children=s play area. Development proposals for the site should enable a unified form of development over the whole area, and should provide for integral play facilities on approximately one third of the total site area.
11.18 Bream has a strong base of small shops and commercial premises providing a range of services catering for local needs. In addition there is an infant and junior school, a library, a bank, several churches, two large social clubs, a youth centre and two public houses.
11.19 Bream has no large employers, but there are many small businesses within the village and immediate surrounding area. These include garages, engineering businesses and others in the service sector. The opportunity to develop further employment opportunities in Bream exists on land to the east of Bream off Whitecroft Road. The site will offer an opportunity for new employment development at Bream.
Employment Allocation - Whitecroft Road



(R)F.Bream 4

Area A

1.67 hectares of land off Whitecroft Road will be allocated for B1 and B2 employment use. Development will be required to:

  1. Provide an appropriate access from the highway frontage.
  2. Provide detailed landscaping and noise attenuation proposals which will maintain the amenity of adjoining residential properties.

Area B

0.23 hectares of land adjacent Whitecroft Road will be allocated for development or redevelopment for B1, B2 and B8 employment use.

11.20 Policy (R)F.Bream 4 allocates 1.9 hectares of land for B1, B2 and B8 employment use. The site is divided into two areas of land by Whitecroft Road.
11.21 Area A is a former colliery spoil tip part of which is considered to be suitable for employment use. Any development proposals brought forward should be in the form of units which will be for Class B1, B2 use. Due to the close proximity of residential properties to the south of the site, development proposals will be required to undertake substantial landscaping to safeguard the amenity of residents and provide noise attenuation. The landscaping should if possible precede any construction on the site, and in any event should be partially implemented to provide noise attenuation before building work commences. The landscaping required will reflect the prominent location of the site. Access will need to be improved to Whitecroft Road.
11.22 Area B is an open area of land bordered on three sides by woodland, the fourth opens onto Whitecroft Road. The site is currently derelict and shows evidence of vandalism and fly tipping. The Plan will support proposals for the development or redevelopment of the site for B1, B2 and B8 employment uses. Development will be required to provide appropriate landscaping along the frontage to Whitecroft Road. An electricity sub station is located in the north west corner of the site and should be protected within development proposals.
11.23 Further detailed guidance is provided in a development brief prepared for the site.

FW v1

Forest of Dean District Local Plan Review, 1st Deposit Draft. July 2000

Web pages design by Forest Web