Chapter 3

Coleford

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Introduction
3.1 Coleford is one of the three main towns of the south Forest. In Structure Plan terms it is a principal settlement of the Forest of Dean. For the purpose of this Plan, Coleford town is grouped together with an arc of adjoining settlements (Christchurch, Berry Hill, Broadwell, Coalway and Milkwall). Together they function as a single catchment area with a population of around 10,000. Coleford town is the shopping and service centre with a central historic core, reflecting its market town origins. The adjoining arc of settlements are characteristic of the "Forest Ring", being aligned along the edge of the statutory Forest, and in places they display an open form of development, incorporating areas of forest waste.
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3.2 Heavy industries have had a significant influence upon Coleford, with iron and coal mining, quarrying and metal manufacture being predominant in earlier years. While mineral extraction has now mostly ceased in the immediate area, there remain extensive industrial areas and large individual industrial land users.
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3.3 The physical setting of Coleford provides significant constraints to further development. The town sits within a bowl. The surrounding arc of settlements generally lie on higher ground above the town. Much of the intervening land is therefore very open and visible, with few strategic landscape features which could assist in assimilating further development. As such there are relatively few opportunities to accommodate new development into this open landscape, other than some limited extensions to the built-up boundary of Coleford itself. The Plan Review provides for retaining this open landscape as an important visual setting for Coleford and the surrounding settlements.
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3.4 The town of Coleford contains an attractive historic core, designated a Conservation Area, which physically centres on the Market Place. More recent modern retail development has taken place adjoining the Market Place, together with associated car parking provision. This has produced two somewhat separate shopping areas. This has had an effect upon the vitality of the historic core, with the peripheral areas to the Market Place displaying vacant retail units and some lack of investment in the building fabric. In recent years the effects of public investment in environmental and highway schemes in the Market Place and St. Johns Street has begun to redress these matters.
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3.5 Coleford is located close to the edge of the Wye Valley AONB, the statutory Forest, and to the large camping and caravan sites operated by Forest Enterprise above the Wye Valley. Tourist spending is an important element of income to the commercial enterprises in the town centre, and to the significant number of tourist accommodation and visitor attraction businesses in and near to the town.
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3.6 Within Coleford there are a number of water courses which are in culverts. Most of the town and the surrounding settlements drain down the Newland valley to the River Wye. There are problems of localised flooding and capacity in the Newland sewage treatment works. Development proposals will need to have regard to these issues.
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Development Strategy
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3.7 The Plan Review strategy concentrates new development in the towns, and particularly the three south Forest towns, of which Coleford is one. Coleford has a good range of employment, together with services and facilities to support further housing and population growth. Land will be allocated to accommodate about 350 additional dwellings.
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3.8 The physical constraints of Coleford mean that there are relatively few opportunities to allocate new greenfield sites for employment use. The Plan strategy will therefore concentrate upon further developing the existing role of Coleford town centre as a retail, commercial and tourism centre. Policies and proposals will provide for developing the healthy base which exists in Coleford in retailing, professional and business services, and its attraction for tourists. Measures will include environmental schemes, traffic management and highway improvements, and targeting building improvements in the town centre. This will be a continuation of past policies which have already resulted in a number of successful projects and new investment. The Plan policies which support the further development of tourism in the District will also assist.
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3.9 The housing land allocations are located to enable easy access to the town centre by a variety of modes of transport. The development briefs for these sites will provide for off-site improvements to facilitate pedestrian, cycling and bus movements. The additional population arising from these developments will add to the town centre catchment, and support town centre enterprises.
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The Town Centre
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3.10 Coleford town centre is in a good state of health, measured in terms of its vitality and viability. Vitality is reflected by how busy a centre is at various times and in various places, and viability refers to the ability of the centre to attract continuing investment to maintain the fabric, and allow for improvement and adaptation to changing needs. The indicators for Coleford show that on balance the centre is performing well, with a strong mix of retail and other facilities, and that activity and confidence in future potential is good.
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3.11 Coleford town centre has a relatively high level of convenience expenditure retention, although competing centres such as Monmouth do draw away trade. However, it is judged that the town centre is sufficiently robust to withstand current levels of competition. There is potential for further retail floorspace development in terms of the available expenditure within the catchment area. However, the small overall size of the centre and its catchment population means that there is not a strong demand for new shopping floorspace from larger retail operators, although locally based developers have been active in refurbishing and building new premises, and there has been rapid re-occupation of vacant floorspace on prime frontages. The Town Centre Health Checks report (Drivers Jonas 1999) provides further details.
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3.12 The Plan emphasises the need to maintain and develop the vitality and viability of the town centre. The principal issues to be addressed are:
  • Integrating the historic Market Place core with the newer retail development in the area of Co-op/Pyart Court
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  • Implementing further phases of the Market Place environmental improvements
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  • Directing resources to refurbish town centre premises, and promoting mixed uses
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  • Identifying key town centre development sites
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  • Providing for a highway scheme which will enable further traffic management measures to be implemented in the town centre.

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Town Centre Environmental Improvements
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(R)F.Coleford 1

A programme of environmental improvements will be implemented in Coleford town centre during the Plan period.

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3.13 To date environmental improvement schemes have been completed in St. Johns Street, and in the Market Place. A further scheme has been agreed to improve the pedestrian link between the Market Place and Pyart Court. An earlier Town Scheme, followed by a current Conservation Area Partnership scheme, has resulted in buildings being repaired, refurbished and brought back into use in prominent locations within the town centre. An active Partnership scheme has been established representing all town centre interests, and there is an agreed strategy and action plan for the town centre. The District Council has allocated substantial capital and revenue resources to the above schemes, supported by other agencies and the private sector.
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3.14 The private sector has continued to invest in the town centre through the period covered by the above initiatives. Key retail premises have been renovated and re-occupied, new floorspace has been constructed and occupied. The closure of the former Co-op supermarket was closely followed by its refurbishment and re-occupation by a retailer and similarly the Somerfield store closure immediately led to re-occupation by the Co-op supermarket.
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3.15 The District Council, with the Coleford Partnership, will promote further schemes for town centre improvements aimed at creating a high quality environment for pedestrians, and supporting further private sector investment. Particular schemes will include:
  • Extending the Market Place improvements into Newland Street and High Street
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  • Designing and implementing environmental improvements to the Bank Street area and the junction of Gloucester Road/Lords Hill
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  • Promoting new retail development at the Marshes and to the rear of Kwik Save/Post Office
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  • Providing for a new access from Old Station Way to enable traffic management to be introduced on High Street
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  • Providing grant aid for building refurbishment in the historic core of the town.

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Town Centre Retail Sites
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(R)F.Coleford 2

The following sites will be allocated primarily for retail (A1) use in accordance with Policy (R)FS.3:

1. Land at the Marshes, to the rear of the Co-op

2. Land to the rear of Kwik Save/Dillons/Post Office.

The District Council will seek contributions from the development of these sites towards the provision of a new access road from Old Station Way.

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3.16 There are limited opportunities for further retail development in Coleford, particularly along the principal commercial frontages. However, there are two sites within the commercial core area which are vacant or under-used. Both are of reasonable size and have potential to accommodate new development. As such opportunities are restricted the Plan Review will restrict the development of these sites to A1 retail uses primarily. Other town centre commercial uses such as professional offices may be permissible within the terms of policy (R)FS.3, which regulates the development of primary shopping frontages. Policy (R)FS.2 also promotes mixed uses on upper floors.
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3.17 The Marshes is located between the Co-op supermarket and Old Station Way. It has received an earlier planning consent (now lapsed) for retail use. There have been a number of inquiries concerning the possible residential use of the site. The concept of mixed uses in town centres would mean that some residential component would be acceptable, but only as a subsidiary use which did not compromise the primary uses outlined in the above Policy. The site is vacant other than use for a weekly market. Access to the site is constrained, but could be assisted by a new access road from Old Station Way as in Policy (R)F. Coleford 3 below. A development brief has been prepared for the site and will be placed on deposit with the Plan as supplementary planning guidance.
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3.18 There is land behind the High Street frontage occupied principally by Kwik Save, Dillons and the Post Office sorting office which is in different ownerships and primarily operates as rear access routes and service yards. The opportunity exists for a retail development on this land, which could also rationalise the present service arrangements and lead to a significant improvement to the built environment of this prominent site adjoining the principal car parking area. The site is is constrained by the need to assemble different land ownerships, and provide for joint servicing.
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3.19 The issue of contributions from the development of these sites to a new access road is considered below in Policy (R)F.Coleford 3.
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New Access Road - Old Station Way
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(R)F.Coleford 3

Land will be safeguarded for a new access road from Old Station Way.

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3.20 At present there is a single vehicular access (from High Street) into the principal off-street car parking area serving Coleford town centre. The car park is located adjoining the Co-op and Pyart Court. There is an opportunity to provide an alternative access from Old Station Way, as indicated on the Inset Map. The provision of this access would enable limitations to be placed on heavy goods vehicle access into High Street. Such a road would also form a new access for shoppers from many residential areas of Coleford.
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3.21 If the new access were provided then related traffic management measures would enable significant reductions in vehicle movements on High Street, and provide the basis for pedestrian and environmental improvement schemes. Both the retail development sites identified in (R)F.Coleford 2 above would benefit from the proposed new access scheme. The District Council will therefore seek to negotiate appropriate contributions from the development of those sites towards the provision of the new access road.
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Employment
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3.22 The measures identified for the town centre, together with the further development of tourism, are anticipated to contribute to increased employment in Coleford.
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 3.23 There are relatively few opportunities to identify new employment sites outside the town centre. The Plan Review will therefore seek to maximise the use of existing sites, and retain them for employment use.
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Employment Allocation - Land Adjoining Smith Kline Beecham
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(R)F.Coleford 4

6.8 hectares of land adjoining Smith Kline Beecham will be allocated for employment use (Classes B1, B2 and B8). Proposals for development should have regard to the highest level of visibility of the site within the landscape and will be required to:

  1. Submit a comprehensive development scheme for the entire site to include strategig landscaping
  2. Implement the strategic landscaping for the entire site at the commencement of, or prior to, development
  3. Provide for a single access to the site which should also serve as the principal access to the adjoining Smith Kline Beecham site.
  4. Provide for pedestrian and cycle links to the adjoining highway network

The Council will seek to negotiate an appropriate contribution to enhanced bus services to serve the site, and to off-site highway improvements at the Gloucester Road/Bank Street Junction.

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3.24 In the existing adopted Plan the above site was reserved for development only by the occupier of the adjoining Smith Kline Beecham (SKB) site. The land is owned by SKB and has been identified by that company for expansion of the existing business.
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3.25 The current understanding is that SKB continue to view the site as required for the future of the company. However, it is considered appropriate to remove the previous tie between the allocated site and the occupier of the SKB plant. This is partly a reflection of the overall shortage of employment land in Coleford, and is also a recognition that if the principle of development is acceptable for SKB then it should also be for other potential occupiers. In reality, it is not anticipated that the site will be developed other than by SKB over the Plan period.
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3.26 The site is currently very visible within the landscape. However, there are opportunities to address this issue through strategic landscaping to the boundaries, and within the site, and by addressing the location, height and massing of buildings. A development brief has been prepared for the site and will be placed on deposit with the Plan as supplementary planning guidance. In addition to the above issues, the development brief identifies the preferred location of an access to the site. If implemented, the access should also provide for the needs of the existing SKB site to remove heavy vehicle traffic from the nearby residential area.
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Employment Sites - Safeguarding
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(R)F.Coleford 5

Land at Broadwell, Tufthorn Avenue, Old Station Way, Arthur Cooper Way and Milkwall as shown on the Proposal Map Inset will be safeguarded for employment use.

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3.27 The above sites represent the principal existing employment areas in Coleford and sites with planning consent (other than the SKB site referred to above). A number of these sites are located adjoining residential areas or high quality woodland and forest waste settings. From time to time problems have arisen where existing businesses have an impact on their surroundings, for example in terms of noise, traffic and hours of operation. Similar issues may arise when considering proposals for the expansion of existing businesses or the erection of new businesses. In principle however all of the sites named in the above Policy are capable of co-existing with their adjoining land uses.
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3.28 The District Council will continue to regulate the development of these sites through the use of planning conditions, traffic management measures and the use of other appropriate environmental legislation. Policy (R)FE. 2 provides an appropriate framework for such regulation, including seeking amenity improvements as part of proposals for further development.
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3.29 The Plan strategy, particularly in Coleford, requires that the development of the local economy should be supported. In the above circumstances it is considered appropriate to ensure that existing employment sites should remain primarily in such use, notwithstanding that there are issues of local amenity to be managed.
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Employment Site - Whitecliff Quarry
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(R)F.Coleford 6

1 hectare of land at Whitecliff Quarry will be allocated for employment use (Classes B1, B2, B8). The remaining area of the former quarry will be restricted to outdoor leisure uses which:

  1. Do not give rise to traffic hazards at the access to the site
  2. Do not detract from the amenity of the surrounding area by generating unacceptable noise
  3. Make provision to safeguard wildlife habitats within the site
  4. Have regard to hours of use and intensity of use so as not to unduly disturb the amenity of adjoining residential areas.
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3.30 Whitecliff Quarry has ceased production of stone. Some of the former land and buildings have been occupied by a variety of small scale businesses, for whom the site can offer low cost land and premises. A recent planning consent has regularised the previously unregulated development.
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3.31 There is some limited scope within the 1 hectare of land currently with planning consent for redevelopment, refurbishment and new building. This will be supported. The site is well-screened and unobtrusive. However, the access to the site is inadequate. The current consent provides for some improvements to the access, but this factor is likely to continue to limit the development potential of the site. In addition, any heavy traffic generated may well be expected to use Newland Street in Coleford. This street has very limited capacity, and the scale of use of the above site for industry will need to be regulated to reflect this constraint.
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3.32 The adjoining part of the site comprises an extensive area of former deep quarrying. There are current planning consents for outdoor leisure in the form of rough terrain vehicle use. These consents carry limitations as to hours of operation and intensity of use. There may be further potential for outdoor leisure use. It will be necessary to assess any such proposals in terms of their impact on the amenity of surrounding areas and traffic generation. It may be possible to impose planning conditions which limit the scale, the periods and hours of use so as to regulate any activities in the interests of local amenity, and to control the use of the site access in the interests of highway safety.
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Leisure/Recreation/Tourism Allocation - Cannop Depot
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(R)F.Coleford 7

4.4 hectares of land at Cannop will be allocated for leisure recreation and tourism use. The development will be required to:

  1. Comprise a design and layout and utilise materials which complement the woodland and rural character of the site and its surroundings
  2. Provide an environmental impact assessment of the proposed development and the uses proposed to include an assessment of impacts upon the adjacent areas of the Cannop Valley
  3. Provide for mitigation measures to address environmental impacts arising from the development
  4. Maintain the use of the site as a centre for cycling activities
  5. Make provision for the re-use of existing buildings where appropriate
  6. Make specific proposals for implementing measures to minimise the energy, water, waste and vehicular travel demands arising from the development
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3.33 The allocated site comprises a mixture of current uses, including a Highways maintenance depot and a cycle hire centre. It is a former colliery site. The location is within the Cannop Valley, which is generally regarded as being a core feature of the woodland comprising the statutory Forest of Dean. It is a setting of the highest landscape and visual quality, which supports a wide variety of natural habitats.
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3.34 The site comprises brownfield land, with probable issues of instability and ground contamination arising from its previous uses. The current site uses are generally of low intensity. The site has significant potential for being re-used for activities more compatible with its rural, scenic and high quality environment. Use for tourism, recreation or leisure could all be compatible with the character of the site. The emphasis will be on securing a development which provides for overnight visitors, to add to the quality visitor accommodation in the District. Approximately 3 hectares of the site is identified as potentially suitable for development. The remainder of the site will be retained and enhanced for landscaping purposes.
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3.35 A high quality of design and layout will be sought, with materials compatible with the setting. An environmental impact assessment will be required, which addresses a wider area than the allocated site because of the sensitivity of the surrounding environment, particularly the adjoining areas of the Cannop Valley, which already suffer some degradation arising from the visitor numbers attracted to the cycle centre on the allocated site.
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3.36 The location of the site may give rise to the potential for additional motorised trips. Policy (R)FTRL.2 of the Plan deals with the principles of securing the most sustainable form of development in such circumstances. Specific measures for maximising the sustainable handling of water, energy and waste in the development will be required as off-setting measures to increased vehicular use, together with a Green Transport Plan to indicate measures to minimise such trips. A development brief has been prepared for the site which will be placed on deposit with the Plan as supplementary planning guidance.
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Housing
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3.37 The Plan Review strategy provides for a concentration of new housing development in the towns of the District, principally the three towns of the south Forest. Provision will be made for land to accommodate about 350 dwellings in Coleford principally on three sites, at Angel Farm, Owen Farm and Poolway Farm. All three sites represent extensions to the current built up boundary of Coleford, and are greenfield sites. There are no significant brownfield sites in Coleford to which the Plan could direct new housing development, other than the re-use of a small site at Milkwall. However, the three greenfield sites all have the merit of being located within reasonable walking or cycling distance from the town centre, and are capable of being accessed by public transport. A further small site for 10 dwellings is allocated at Lords Hill.
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3.38 Within the Coleford Inset Map area there have been 361 dwelling completions between 1991 and January 1999. As of the latter date there were 159 outstanding consents for dwellings, mostly on small sites. Only three sites had consent for six or more dwellings. The Plan proposes the allocation of 350 dwellings, which will be likely to lead to a modest increase in the population of Coleford over the Plan period. These proposals reflect the Plan Review strategy of concentrating development upon the towns.
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Housing Allocation - Angel Farm
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(R)F.Coleford 8

7.2 hectares of land at Angel Farm will be allocated to accommodate about 100 dwellings. The development will be required to:

  1. Provide for off-site highway improvements to facilitate vehicle access
  2. Provide for strategic landscaping to the site boundaries and within the site, incorporating existing landscape features and hedgerows where appropriate
  3. Provide for safe and convenient pedestrian and cycling links to the surrounding highway network and to the town centre
  4. Provide for pedestrian access to footpaths adjoining the site
  5. Provide for access to the adjoining land to the east to enable future residential development to take place
  6. Provide for an appropriate number of affordable housing units
  7. Retain a substantial open and undeveloped area alongside the Newland Street approach to Coleford
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    In addition the Council will seek to negotiate the following:
  8. An appropriate contribution to educational provision for the prospective occupiers of the site
  9. An appropriate contribution to youth/adult playspace provision within Coleford.

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3.39 Angel Farm occupies a sloping site leading down into the Newland Valley. It is visible primarily from the opposite side of the valley, particularly from the area of the Buchanan recreation ground. The lower part of the site is quite steep, but the upper part is more gently sloping. This area is bordered by generally mature but un-managed hedgerows of native species. Other such hedgerows lie within the site. Strategic landscaping has taken place within the site in advance of prospective development. The site abuts established residential areas to three boundaries and the Smith Kline Beecham site lies nearby to the south. The topography of the site (the steep and exposed lower slopes) means that only around 3.8 hectares of the site is suitable for built development. The undeveloped area should be retained as an open and undeveloped area which will maintain the amenity of the approach to Coleford along the Newland Valley.
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3.40 The site has two potential access points from the adjacent residential roads of Hampshire Gardens and Mushet Place. The Highway Authority considers that the Hampshire Gardens access is suitable for an additional 100 dwellings. Development proposals should provide also for a secondary access off Mushet Place. The site is well located in relation to the town centre. The provisions in the Policy above identify the principal issues related to the development of the site. Further detailed guidance is provided in a site development brief, which will be placed on deposit with the Plan as supplementary planning guidance.
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Housing Allocation - Owen Farm
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(R)F.Coleford 9

5 hectares of land at Owen Farm will be allocated to accommodate about 140 dwellings. Development will be required to:

  1. Have a single point of vehicular access from the Staunton Road (B.4231)
  2. Provide for strategic landscaping to the site boundaries, and within the site, incorporating existing landscape features and hedgerows where appropriate
  3. Provide for safe and convenient pedestrian and cycling links to the surrounding highway network and to the town centre
  4. Provide for pedestrian access to footpaths adjoining the site
  5. Provide for an appropriate number of affordable housing units
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    In addition the Council will seek to negotiate the following:
  6. An appropriate contribution to educational provision for the prospective occupiers of the site
  7. An appropriate contribution to youth/adult playspace provision within Coleford.
  8. An appropriate contribution to enhanced bus services to link the site with principal trip attractors in Coleford
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3.41 Owen Farm lies in a hollow and is contained by surrounding ridge lines. The site is bounded by residential development to the north and east, and by agricultural land to the other boundaries. Native hedgerows define the boundaries on three sides. The existing track to Owen Farm on the western boundary is enclosed by established hedgerows. The site is well located in relation to the town centre. Access will need to be obtained from the Staunton Road (B.4231). Some off site improvements will be required to provide for safe and convenient access for pedestrians and cyclists to the town centre. Further detailed guidance is provided in a site development brief, which will be placed on deposit with the Plan as supplementary planning guidance.
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Housing Allocation - Poolway Farm
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(R)F.Coleford 10

3.6 hectares of land at Poolway Farm will be allocated to accommodate about 80 dwellings. Development will be required to:

  1. Have a single point of vehicular access from the Gloucester Road (B.4028)
  2. Provide for strategic landscaping to the site boundaries, and within the site, incorporating existing landscape features and hedgerows where appropriate
  3. Provide for safe and convenient pedestrian and cycling links to the surrounding highway network and to the town centre
  4. Provide for pedestrian access to footpaths adjoining the site
  5. Provide for an appropriate number of affordable housing units
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    In addition the Council will seek to negotiate the following:
  6. An appropriate contribution to educational provision for the prospective occupiers of the site
  7. An appropriate contribution to youth/adult playspace provision within Coleford.
  8. An appropriate contribution to enhanced bus services to link the site with principal trip attractors in Coleford
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3.42 Poolway Farm is in a shallow bowl, with surrounding rising ground. It lies adjacent to the B.4028 (Gloucester Road). The site is bounded by residential development to the south and east. Poolway Farm adjoins the western boundary, with agricultural land to the north. The site is capable of being integrated into the landscape by limiting development to the allocated site, and by incorporating strategic landscaping. Some off-site accessibility improvements will be required to provide for safe and convenient access for pedestrians and cyclists to the town centre. Appropriate provision for access will need to be negotiated with the Highway Authority, possibly requiring the provision of a roundabout. Further detailed guidance is provided in a site development brief, which will be placed on deposit with the Plan as supplementary planning guidance.
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Housing Allocation - Milkwall
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(R)F.Coleford 11

0.55 hectare of land at Milkwall will be allocated to accommodate about 20 dwellings. The development will be required to have a single point of access from the adjoining existing estate road and to provide for a pedestrian and cycle link to the adjoining cycle track.

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3.43 The above land is presently occupied by a mobile home site and a coach hire and garage business, the latter fronting Station Road. The adjacent land to the rear has been developed recently as a housing estate. The site should be accessed from the adjoining estate road to avoid the creation of a further access onto Station Road, which would be opposed by the highway authority. A pedestrian and cycle link should be provided to the adjacent cycle track which provides off-road access to Coleford town centre.
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Housing Allocation - Lords Hill
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(R)F.Coleford 12

0.4 hectare of land at Lords Hill will be allocated to accommodate about 10 dwellings. Development will be required to:

  1. Provide for safe and convenient pedestrian and cycling links to the surrounding highway network and to the town center
  2. Provide for an appropriate number of affordable housing units
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    In addition the Council will seek to negotiate the following:
  3. An appropriate contribution to educational provision for the prospective occupiers of the site
  4. An appropriate contribution to youth/adult playspace provision within Coleford.
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. 3.44 The allocated site comprises a small area of predominantly unused land. It may be beneficially developed for housing. It is likely that off-site highway improvements will be required to ensure safe vehicle movements, and to provide for safe and convenient pedestrian and cycling movements. The detailed views of the Highway Authority are awaited on this site.
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Environment and Recreation
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3.45 Coleford and its adjoining settlements is surrounded from the north west to the south east by the statutory Forest. The north west area (Christchurch and Berry Hill) also adjoins the boundary of the Wye Valley AONB. The countryside within the Inset Map area is designated either a Special Landscape Area or an AONB. This high quality landscape adds significantly to the setting of Coleford. The Plan Review policies will seek to protect the quality of the landscape surrounding the built up area.
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3.46 Within the Inset Map area are sites of historic importance, including the Whitecliff Furnace (an Ancient Monument), Puzzlewood (Ancient iron mines), and the former Dark Hill and Titanic iron and steel works. These remains are all important historic relics of the past industrial development of the Forest of Dean.
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3.47 While there is an adequate overall area of youth/adult recreation pitches in Coleford some of the spaces are under-used as they have not had investment in the playing surfaces or the provision of ancillary facilities such as changing rooms and the distribution of facilities is poor in many areas. Land will be allocated to improve this distribution and accessibility, and contributions will be sought to implement improvements to recreational sites.
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Strategic Open Space - Safeguarding
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(R)F.Coleford 13

An area of land lying between Berry Hill and Milkwall and shown on the Inset Map will be retained primarily as open countryside. Only development with an essential need to locate within this area will be permitted, and in such cases should be designed and located so as not to detract from the open landscape character of the area.

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3.48 Between Coleford and its adjoining arc of settlements is an area of essentially open landscape. While some parts of this area form agricultural land, there is a significant use for recreational purposes, including two golf courses, a golf driving range and three areas occupied by sports pitches.
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3.49 This open landscape provides a high quality setting to the existing built up areas, and complements the statutory Forest setting outside the built up area. It is considered appropriate to retain this high quality landscape setting, and to resist development which would be intensive or would lead to a physical linking of Coleford with its adjoining settlements. The above policy provides for this protection.
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3.50 Within the above area are existing uses which should be enabled to continue, including recreational, agricultural and business uses. However, new development proposals will need to demonstrate that a location within this open area is essential. Where such a location is required, development must be so designed and located as to ensure the continuity of the open landscape character of the identified area.
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Playing Area Improvement - Bells Field
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(R)F.Coleford 14

3.5 hectares of land will be allocated for the further development and improvement of youth/adult outdoor recreation, sports pitches and ancillary uses.

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3.51 The Coleford Inset Plan area is deficient in children=s play space provision. The new housing land allocations will need to make appropriate provision within the relevant sites for the needs of the prospective occupiers, to ensure the relative deficiency does not increase.
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3.52 In terms of youth/adult play space (sports pitches for example) there is an adequate actual provision of land, principally because of the extensive playing areas at the Buchanan Recreation Ground. There is an issue over the location of spaces however, as the Buchanan fields are somewhat remote from much of the residential areas of Coleford, being located on high ground to the west of the town.
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3.53 It is considered appropriate to seek an improved provision of outdoor play space for youths/adults primarily at the Bells Field site. The land is presently owned by the County Council, and is laid out and maintained at a low level for occasional use as a sports pitch. This site could be improved to provide for more intensive and better equipped use. The District Council will consult with the local Parish Councils and sports organisations on the preferred form of provision. Contributions will be sought from residential development to provide improved facilities.

FW v1


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


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