Chapter 1

Lydney

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Introduction
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1.1 Lydney is located on the A.48 and close to the River Severn. It is the main town serving the southern part of the south Forest, with a wide catchment area including several large settlements, such as Bream. It is a principal settlement in Structure Plan terms. It has a large employment base and the town centre contains a larger number of retail and commercial premises than the other three towns of the District. Its immediate population is 8,200 (1998), and its catchment population is estimated as being around 20,000. The principal north-south routes serving the south Forest intersect with the A.48 at Lydney. Lydney, therefore, is both a principal centre of economic activity in the District, and is a communications focus. It also contains the only main line railway station in the District, on the Cardiff-Birmingham route.
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. 1.2 Lydney has a well-developed industrial base, principally located to the south and the south west of the town, on the lower lying land which leads down to the River Severn. There are a number of large employers in the rubber, paper and engineering sectors.
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. 1.3 Lydney has a strong advantage in comparison with other towns of the south Forest in that it has better accessibility by both road and rail. The A.48 route through Lydney connects with the M.48 near Chepstow and with Gloucester and the M.5 motorway. The recent completion of the Lydney bypass has removed some traffic from the town centre. However, many locally generated trips and those with an origin or destination in the central part of the District use the B.4231and the B.4234, both of which have junctions in the town centre. The effect is that high volumes of traffic movement remain in High Street/Hill Street/Newerne Street (the principal shopping area), to the detriment of the town centre environment. An issue for the Plan is to propose measures to improve the town centre environment by managing traffic movements in the area. The only rail station in the District is at Lydney. An issue for the Plan is to develop the use of this facility for both passenger and freight traffic.
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1.4 There are a number of physical constraints, as well as opportunities, for development in Lydney.
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1.5 An important constraint relates to the issue of flooding. A large part of Lydney is situated on generally low lying land adjacent to the River Severn. A number of watercourses pass through Lydney to the Severn. In adverse circumstances flooding within the built-up area can occur. Various measures have been implemented or are planned including river management and flood defence. Nevertheless, particular care is required that development must be carefully located, and a full range of surface water management measures implemented, as an integral part of development to ensure flooding neither affects the development concerned, nor elsewhere in Lydney.
1.6 The northern part of the town has developed on steeply rising land, which adjoins the Special Landscape Area. The undeveloped areas within and around this part of the town are generally situated in elevated and exposed positions. Any new development in these locations would need to be carefully planned and sited so as to minimise intrusion into highly visible open areas.
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1.7 The low lying land round Lydney is of high agricultural land quality, principally used for dairy farming. Wherever possible such land should remain undeveloped.
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1.8 The Severn Estuary is a designated Ramsar site, a Special Protection Area and a proposed Special Area of Conservation. The adjoining coastal area also is subject to protection as a designated Coastal Zone within the Plan. These designations will limit development potential in the area adjoining the Severn.
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1.9 However, there remain areas within and adjoining Lydney where further development on a significant scale can be allocated, both for employment and for housing. In this respect Lydney differs greatly from Cinderford and Coleford, both of which have greater development constraints. The principal opportunity lies to the east of Lydney, relating to undeveloped land contained within the Lydney bypass, together with the opportunity for development outside and adjoining the bypass. The capacity of these locations, together with other more limited sites elsewhere in Lydney, can provide for a scale of development which will make a major contribution to the revitalisation strategy for the District. There is also the possibility that further capacity may exist to provide for development at Lydney beyond the end of the Plan period, should a future Plan review indicate such a requirement.
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Development Strategy
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1.10 The revitalisation strategy for the District proposes significant additional levels of employment and housing land allocations. The strategy identifies Lydney as the principal strategic development location in the District with the potential to accommodate a large part of the proposed new development. The principal reasons are that:
  • Lydney already has a well developed commercial, retail and industrial base
  • It has good communications, the best in the District
  • There is suitable land available which is readily capable of development on the scale under consideration
  • There is the ability to integrate development of such sites with the existing urban form
  • There is the opportunity offered by large scale development to underpin and further develop the role and functioning of the town and the town centre for the benefit of both existing and new occupants
  • There is potential for further development beyond the end of the Plan period should that be considered desirable at a future Plan Review.

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1.11 The development strategy for Lydney therefore proposes the allocation of 34 hectares of employment land and around 1,310 dwellings. It is forecast that the population of Lydney will increase significantly over the Plan period, giving rise to additional economically active people.
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1.12 The Plan strategy emphasises a requirement to provide for a balance of employment opportunity and new population, particularly in the principal development locations (the towns), in order to minimise the number and distance of private car journeys and maximise accessibility to jobs and services. A core element of the strategy for Lydney therefore is to seek to ensure that a range of employment land and site opportunities are available within the Plan period to meet the needs of the existing and new economically active population. Such sites must include good quality, viable and accessible locations which will be attractive for both locally derived business investment and inward investment.
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1.13 The overall Plan strategy for the revitalisation of the District, particularly the south Forest, is strongly dependant upon securing such planned employment growth opportunities. Within this framework Lydney is considered to offer the principal opportunity for new business investment. It is likely that the housing land allocations in the Plan will be developed over time, even if the new job opportunities were not to be forthcoming. Should this occur, the effect would be to greatly increase the level of out-commuting from Lydney, which would be a wholly unsustainable outcome, would have limited benefits for Lydney itself and the District as a whole, and would potentially undermine the overall Plan strategy.
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1.14 The Plan therefore must ensure maximum opportunity for new jobs to be provided over the Plan period. A range of employment sites will be allocated to provide choice. The Council will require a legal agreement as part of a planning permission for large scale housing development to provide for the overall availability of a minimum of 9 hectares of serviced employment land. The aim will be to secure the strategic aim of balancing planned housing and job growth over the Plan period. Such provision should include good quality, accessible, viable and attractive sites for business use. In addition, the Plan will provide for other employment opportunities, particularly in the town centre.
1.15 The Plan strategy for Lydney will contain a phasing policy for housing development for land to the east of Lydney. Development will be limited to a maximum of 400 dwellings in the first phase. A second and final phase will be permitted only if an agreement has been secured to provide the requisite employment land, or it has been otherwise secured. The policy will enable an early Review of the Local Plan if it appears that the agreement sought will not be forthcoming, or that no other realistic and viable proposals for employment land provision are available. Such a Plan Review would focus on the viability of the revitalisation strategy for the District, and for Lydney, in the absence of a sufficient and available choice of employment land in Lydney. The Review would consider the desirability of continuing the revitalisation strategy in the form expressed in this Plan, and whether the outcomes observed would provide for a sustainable form of development. It is considered that such a Plan Review, if required, could be linked with the planned third Review of the Structure Plan.
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1.16 The proposals for housing and employment development in Lydney are forecast to lead to additional potential for town centre commercial, retail and service investment to provide for the new population and businesses. Policies and proposals for the town centre will provide for such development to take place. There exist a number of well located sites in the town centre with existing planning consents for retail development which have not yet been implemented. These include a consent for a 2,500m5 supermarket on the High Street.
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1.17 There will be a need to implement an integrated sustainable transport network in Lydney to cater for the increased travel needs arising from the proposed new development. A key element of the Lydney strategy will be to ensure that the new development is well-related to the existing urban form, particularly in terms of a choice of modes of convenient access to key trip attractors such as the town centre, employment areas and schools.
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1.18 At present the town centre experiences high volumes of traffic. The impact of the proposed new development would exacerbate this situation. Without ameliorative measures the additional trips generated are predicted to exceed the capacity of a number of junctions in the town centre, and unacceptably add to existing problems of environmental intrusion and pedestrian-vehicle conflict in the town centre. This would militate against the objective of seeking new commercial investment in the town centre.
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1.19 The strategy for Lydney will propose a highway and traffic management scheme designed to produce a more sustainable transport network which will mitigate the impact of the new development. It will also provide for pedestrian priority to be implemented in Newerne Street as part of the proposed transport network, which will enhance the potential for increased town centre vitality and viability.
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Housing
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1.20 Between 1992 and the end of 1998 a total of around 690 dwellings were completed in Lydney, an average of around 85 per year. The highest level of completions was in 1998, totalling 200. The principal contribution to this high level of activity was made by two large sites, at Highfield Hill (336 dwellings) and Dairy Farm (143 dwellings). Both are now completed. At January 1999 there were outstanding consents for just 35 dwellings in Lydney.
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1.21 It is proposed to allocate land for 1,310 dwellings in Lydney over the Plan period, principally on land to the east of Lydney.
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Mixed Use Land Allocation - East of Lydney
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(R)F.Lydney 1

72 hectares of land to the east of Lydney will be allocated for a mixed development comprising 1,250 dwellings to be completed over the Plan period, 9 hectares of land for employment use, a neighbourhood centre and primary school accommodation. Contentment of the development will not be permitted until agreement has been reached with the council on a comprehensive development scheme for the whole site. The allocation will be subject to a phasing policy as provided for in policy ®F.Lydney 2. The development will be required to provide for the following

  1. Within 18 months of the commitment of the residential development completion of works to provide a minimum of five hectares of serviced land suitable and available for employment use and an agreement for the phased provision of the remaining four hectares
  2. Off site highway improvement works, to be agreed with the local planning authority and the local highway authority, including the provision of town centre highway improvements
  3. Enhanced bus services and pedestrian and cycling routes llinking the development site to the principal trip attractors within Lydney, to be agreed with the local planning authority and the local highway authority
  4. Primary school accommodation within the site appropriately located to meet the needs of the occupants of the site
  5. The allocation off a site within the development for a neighbourhood centre, and a phasing agreement for the construction of units suitable for accommodating local services
  6. Strategic landscaping within the site, including noise attenuation measures adjacent to the Lydney bypass
  7. Provision for amenity open space and play provision within the site, and links to adjacent footpaths
  8. An appropriate provision of affordable housing units, primarily for rent
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    In addition the council will seek to negotiate the following:
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  9. Appropriate contributions to pr-school and secondary school provision to meet the needs of occupants of the site
  10. An appropriate contribution of, or improvement of an existing, community building to meet the needs of occupants of the site
  11. An appropriate contribution to Lydney Library to meet the needs a site occupants
  12. An appropriate contribution to improved passenger facilities at Lydney Rail Station
  13. An appropriate contribution to improvements to playing pitch facilities in Lydney

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1.22 The site allocated by the above policy is of significant size. As such the provisions of the policy are complex as there is a need to provide guidance on the principal elements of the overall form of the development, together with the mitigation measures required to address the related impacts arising. A detailed development brief has been prepared for the allocation, to be placed on deposit with the Plan as supplementary planning guidance.
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1.23 The allocated site may be capable of accommodating more than 1,250 dwellings. However, planning permission will limit dwelling completions over the Plan period to 1,250 units, with further development being subject to a future review of the Plan.
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1.24 A key issue is to secure arrangements for the provision of serviced and available land for employment use, and at an early stage in the site development. This will contribute significantly to the opportunities for jobs to be provided in locations conveniently accessible to new residents, and to Lydney generally. Without such arrangements there could be a significant risk that the Local Plan strategy would be compromised. Policy (R)F.Lydney 2 proposes a phasing policy which will enable the local planning authority to phase development to enable a review of progress on securing this strategic objective.
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1.25 The allocation policy requires that 9 hectares of land suitable for employment purposes should be provided. It is envisaged that around 5 hectares would be provided adjacent to the Federal Mogul foundry, where residential development would be unsuitable due to the intrusive features of the industrial building and its activities. The remaining land to meet the 9 hectare requirement within the allocated site would be suitably located in an area between the bypass and Crump Farm buildings.
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1.26 The Plan will retain sufficient flexibility to enable agreement to be reached that some or all of the employment land requirement referred to in Policy (R)F.Lydney 1 can be provided at appropriate locations outside the allocated site, for example at the employment sites to be allocated at Hurst Farm or Mead Lane. In those circumstances, some or all of the land otherwise required for employment purposes within the above allocation may be used for residential development, subject to an overall consent limiting dwelling completions to 1,250 over the Plan period.
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1.27 An analysis of transport movements in Lydney has been undertaken incorporating the travel needs arising from the new development. This has identified the need for off-site mitigation measures, particularly in relation to the town centre. The development of the allocated site will be required to fund:
  1. The Newerne Street link road, including Forest Road/Hill Street Junction improvements
  2. Carriageway and footpath widening at Albert Street
  3. Bream Road/Hill Street junction improvements
  4. Traffic management measures on Church Road
  5. Junction improvements at Albert Road/Highfield Road and at Naas Road/Highfield Road
  6. Junction improvements at Lydney Bypass/Highfield Road
  7. Subsidised bus services, and pedestrian and cycle routes linking the development to key trip attractors within Lydney.

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1.28 A comprehensive development scheme for the whole allocation will be required to be agreed prior to any development, together with a S.106 agreement incorporating undertakings relating to the matters in the above policy.
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1.29 The overall development form is set out in greater detail in a development brief. A principal feature of the development will be a continuous spine road through the site, linking a junction at Highfield Hill with a junction to the Lydney bypass near Federal Mogul. One further junction will be provided onto the Bypass north of Naas Lane. A neighbourhood centre will be located in the vicinity of the existing buildings comprising Crump Farm. The neighbourhood centre should provide for suitable units of accommodation for local shops and services, and provide sufficient land to enable uses such as a pub/restaurant, hotel or community building to be located. New primary school accommodation will be required to meet the needs of the prospective site occupiers. This will be located in relation to the existing Severn Banks Primary School.
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Phasing of Development - Land to the East of Lydney
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(R)F.Lydney 2

The development of land allocated to the Policy (R)F.Lydney 1 will be phased. Phase 1 will be limited to a maximum of 400 dwellings. A second and final phase of residential development will be permitted only when a secure agreement is in place to implement the employment land provitions of Policy (R)F.Lydney 1, or such provision has been made available by any other means.

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1.30 The foregoing section outlining the development strategy for Lydney identified the strategic requirement to ensure that employment land opportunities should be created at an early stage in relation to housing land development at Lydney. Lydney is the key strategic development opportunity in the District. Failure to secure arrangements for employment development at Lydney would be likely to result in an unsustainable form of development with increased long distance out-commuting for work. It would also significantly affect the overall revitalisation strategy for the south Forest, and the District as a whole.
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1.31 If for any reason a planning permission is secured enabling residential development to commence on the site without the prior securing of an agreement to implement the employment land provisions of Policy (R)F.Lydney 1, then the local planning authority will limit the scale of residential development to 400 dwellings. In the above circumstances the Council would commence an immediate review of the Local Plan strategy and consider whether it would require amendment. Such a Review would be likely to coincide with the process of preparing the Third Review of the Gloucestershire Structure Plan, and thus enable the Structure Plan to take into account the prevailing circumstances in the Forest of Dean District.
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Housing Allocation - Holms Farm
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(R)F.Lydney 3

1.7 hectares of land at Holmes Farm will be allocated for around 20 dwellings. The development will be required to:

  1. Have a single point of vehicular access
  2. Provide for safe and convenient pedestrian and cycling links to the town centre
  3. Provide for amenity open space and play space within the site
  4. Provide for the retention of the existing farmhouse and other substantial buildings where suitable for conversion
  5. Provide for an appropriate number of affordable housing units
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    In addition the Council will seek to negotiate the following:
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  6. An appropriate contribution to the educational provision for the prospective occupiers of the site
  7. An appropriate contribution to the improvement of playing pitch facilities in Lydney.

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1.32 The allocation is well located in relation to the town centre, and to other services. The site comprises land and buildings within a dairy farm. There is potential to relocate the farm operations and thereby to release the site for residential development. Access to the site is currently restricted. The scale of residential development of the site will be dependant on the proposed access arrangements. Sole use of the existing access would restrict development significantly, possibly to simply the conversion of existing buildings. An alternative appropriate access may be feasible, and would enable a greater scale of development of the site, perhaps to comprise around 20 dwellings.
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Housing Allocation - Allaston
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(R)F.Lydney 4

6.9 hectares of land at Allaston will be allocated for about 40 dwellings on about 1.9 hectares of land, to include a bus and car access, parking and turning area to the rear of Primrose Hill School, and about 4.2 hectares of amenity open space. The development will be required to:

  1. Provide for strategic landscaping to the site boundaries, and within the site, incorporating existing landscape features where appropriate
  2. Provide for safe and convenient pedestrian and cycle links to the surrounding highway network, to the town centre and to the primary school
  3. Provide for pedestrian access to footpaths adjoining the site
  4. Provide for an appropriate number of affordable housing units
  5. Provide for the improvement and future maintenance of the amenity open space land allocated within the site
  6. Provide the parking and turning area after the occupation of the first ten houses
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    In addition the Council will seek to negotiate the following:
  7. An appropriate contribution to educational provision for the prospective occupiers of the site
  8. An appropriate contribution to enhanced bus services to link the site to the town centre
  9. An appropriate contribution to the improvement of playing pitch facilities in Lydney.

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. 1.33 The above allocated site can provide for about 40 dwellings in two separate areas. Land off Court Road is suitable for around 15 dwellings only as highway access is very limited to this part of the site, which is also situated in an elevated position where issues of intrusion into the larger undeveloped and open area adjoining the proposed development area mitigates against a larger scale of development. Particular care will be required to ensure development is sited, designed and landscaped to avoid such intrusion.
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1.34 To the north of and adjoining the Highfield Hill development a site for around 25 dwellings can be developed. Access is expected to be off Augustus Way, which has only limited additional vehicular capacity. This part of the allocated site is capable of being visually self-contained from medium distance and longer views. Particular care will be required to establish and landscape development boundaries which maximise the potential for visual self-containment, and not to extend into the open and more visible landscape adjoining.
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1.35 Two key elements in the decision to allocate this site are the opportunity to relieve the highway access problems of Primrose Hill primary school, and the opportunity to provide for open amenity space for the highly developed adjoining residential areas where there is a notable lack of open space provision. Therefore, the allocation policy requires that a suitable car and bus access, parking and turning area be provided to the rear of Primrose Hill school. The detailed design of this facility will need to be agreed with the County Highway Authority, including decisions on whether a singular means of access from Court Road is appropriate, or a secondary access should be provided from the south. Particular care will be required to provide for landscaping to the access and parking area to avoid it being an intrusive feature in this elevated and open landscape.
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1.36 Around 4.2 hectares of the allocated site will be for amenity open space use. Several well-used footpaths exist which provide access to this land. These will need to be retained. The development will be required to improve the amenity value of the amenity open space. It is envisaged that this will be of a low key nature, principally comprising some additional tree planting and improvement of footpaths. Secure arrangements for future maintenance will be required, although again these are anticipated to reflect the open countryside character of this amenity open land, and may include continued livestock grazing as part of the maintenance regime. The supplementary planning guidance on Play Areas provides further information.
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1.37 A development brief has been prepared for the site and placed on deposit with the Plan.
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Employment
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1.38 The revitalisation strategy for the District identifies Lydney as the key strategic opportunity for new employment development. The strategy therefore requires that substantial employment site opportunities should be allocated in Lydney. It is important that accessible, viable and attractive sites for employment use should be identified, and that a choice of sites should exist so as not to limit the potential for employment land to come forward over the Plan period. The principal requirement in implementing the above approach is to ensure the allocation of high quality sites, capable both of attracting technology and service based (commercial) businesses as well as other B2 and B8 businesses, and of sufficient size to provide for large scale business investment should the opportunity arise.
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1.39 Sites with the above characteristics have not been available in the District for a considerable period. As a result the Forest of Dean has been unable to accommodate some of the expansion needs of indigenous companies, or to compete for larger inward investment opportunities. The current position in the District is that no single site of over 2 hectares is available anywhere in the Forest of Dean. This situation inhibits inward investment and also demonstrably affects the investment plans of existing businesses throughout the District, including those in Lydney.
1.40 The opportunity to bring forward large, attractive employment sites at Lydney through the provisions of the Local Plan is a key element in the implementation of the revitalisation strategy for the District. The provisions of the Local Plan demonstrate that similar opportunities do not exist elsewhere in the Forest of Dean.
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1.41 The Plan Review therefore proposes that employment land allocations will be made as part of the site allocation east of Lydney, (R)F.Lydney 1, and at Hurst Farm adjoining and outside the Lydney bypass, (R)F.Lydney 5, and at the western end of the bypass at Mead Lane, (R)F.Lydney 6.
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1.42 Elsewhere in Lydney there are only limited additional employment land opportunities, principally related to existing industrial areas.
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1.43 In total some 34 hectares of employment land will be allocated by the Plan in Lydney, as follows:

F.Lydney 1 [East of Lydney] - 9 hectares
F. Lydney 5 [Hurst Farm] - 15 hectares
F. Lydney 6 [Mead Lane] - 7 hectares
Elsewhere - 3 hectares

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1.44 It is not anticipated that all of this land will be developed over the Plan period. The allocations however will provide the necessary choice of sites required to secure the underlying Plan strategy. The allocations will be reviewed as part of a future Plan review. If an agreement is reached as part of Policy (R)F.Lydney 1 to provide serviced employment land outside the site allocated by that policy, then a Plan Review would recognise this reduction in employment land supply.
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1.45 One of the considerations in such a Plan Review will be the extent to which new employment has been provided in the town centre, which is expected to generate new and expanded business investment to reflect the forecast growth of Lydney over the Plan period.
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Employment Allocation - Hurst Farm
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(R)F.Lydney 5

A site will be allocated at Hurst Farm to provide for 15 hectares of employment land for B1, B2 and B8 uses. The development will be required to provide for:

  1. Strategic landscaping to the site boundaries, and within the site
  2. Safe and convenient pedestrian and cycle links to link to the proposed development to the west of the bypass
  3. Bus access and turning facilities
  4. A high quality of built development to complement the character and setting of the site.

The Council will seek to negotiate a phased introduction of bus services to the site in relation to the occupation of the site.

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1.46 The Hurst Farm site lies outside the Lydney bypass, within an existing agricultural landscape made up of high quality agricultural land, and forms part of the open countryside surrounding Lydney. The bypass currently, and over the Plan period, will function to contain the outward residential expansion of Lydney. There is a need for a cogent strategic justification therefore to provide for development outside the bypass.
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1.47 justification for the Hurst Farm allocation is the strategic necessity to provide for a large scale housing land allocation at Lydney, and provide for complementary employment development at Lydney to balance the housing land allocation, in order to provide a choice of development locations, and to make a major contribution to employment opportunities for the whole south Forest. The Hurst Farm site is well located in relation to the proposed development area to the east of Lydney, and will be accessible by a choice of modes of transport through extending the bus services planned for the aforementioned development area, together with extensions to the planned cycling links and pedestrian routes. The scale of the proposed site would potentially accommodate large scale business investment proposals. It also offers the opportunity at a future Plan review to extend the site allocation if required, to provide for the future employment needs of Lydney.
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1.48 The site itself can be accessed from the proposed junction on the Lydney bypass required for the development inside the bypass. It may also benefit from being adjacent to the necessary extensions of infrastructure into that development area. These factors should result in improved development viability for this employment site. The high quality surroundings of the site, and its accessibility, would be likely to make this allocation an attractive location for a variety of business uses. These may include technology businesses, service and commercial businesses, as well as other industrial concerns.
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1.49 Policy (R)F.Lydney 1 provides for 9 hectares of employment land within the site allocated to the east of Lydney. It would be acceptable to transfer all or part of that requirement to the Hurst Farm land allocation, with the agreement of the local planning authority. Such agreement would be subject to a secure undertaking (as provided for in Policy (R)F. Lydney 1) to service the Hurst Farm site and make it available for development within the same phasing as provided in that policy.
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1.50 The site lies close to the existing Cardiff - Birmingham rail line, and within the site is the line of the former railway route which crossed the River Severn. The Council proposes to investigate the potential for a rail freight connection to the Hurst Farm site directly, and the potential for rail freight facilities to the south west of the site at Lydney Station and Harbour Road. If appropriate modifications will be made to the Plan at the Second Deposit stage to reflect the outcomes of these studies.
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Employment Allocation - Mead Lane
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(R)F.Lydney 6

7 hectares of land will be allocated at Mead Lane for employment use, classes B1, B2 and B8. Development will be required to provide for:

  1. Strategic landscaping to the site boundaries and within the site
  2. Bus access and turning within the site
  3. Safe and convenient pedestrian and cycle links to the surrounding highway network
  4. A high quality of built development to complement the character and setting of the site.

The Council will seek to negotiate a phased introduction of bus services to the site in relation to the occupation of the site.

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1.51 The Mead Lane site is allocated for employment use in the existing Local Plan. It is a good quality, accessible and potentially attractive site for business investment, suitable for a variety of business use. It is adjoined to the east by two large local employers, being Cromptons and Watts. At various times both companies have expressed some interest in utilising land within the Mead Lane allocated site for expansion purposes, and to provide improved access to their existing sites.
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1.52 Over the period since the adoption of the Local Plan (1996) the site has not come forward for development. The local authority, and other parties, have explored possible means of bringing forward site development. To date this has not proved possible. There is some lack of certainty about the likely availability of this site over the Plan period.
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1.53 However, there are a number of sound reasons why the site should remain as an allocation in the Plan review. These are:
  1. The site has very good development potential, should it become available
  2. There is a need for a wide choice of good employment site opportunities in Lydney
  3. The adjoining industrial businesses could independently pursue an interest in expanding in to the allocated site with access and servicing from the existing developed sites
  4. The additional employment site allocations in Lydney made in this Plan review may help to establish possible competition between sites, and assist in assessing comparative development costs and viability.

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1.54 The site allocation is the same as that shown in the adopted Plan. However, due to revised advice from the Environment Agency which indicates part of the previously allocated site lies within land liable to flood, the capacity of the site has been reduced to 7 hectares of developable land. In addition the adjacent land lying to the north of the Lydney bypass (Policy Area 3 in the adopted Local Plan) has not been allocated as it is likely that a substantial part of the site would not be released for development.
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Employment Allocation - Harbour Road
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(R)F.Lydney 7

Land will be allocated for B1, B2 and B8 employment uses at Harbour Road subject to the following requirements:

  1. Employment uses will be limited to occupying only those parts of the site where any approved landfill operation results in areas of land raised above surrounding flooding levels
  2. Employment uses will be restricted to those parts of the site directly adjacent to Harbour Road, where immediate access can be gained from Harbour Road and shall not be located elsewhere within the site where they would be likely to be an intrusive feature within the generally open landscape
  3. No development shall take place until appropriate measures have been agreed to maintain the flood storage capacity of the site
  4. Only B1 uses shall be permitted adjoining Cookson Terrace
  5. A strategic landscaping scheme will be required to be submitted and agreed encompassing all projected areas for employment development within the site
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    In addition the Council will seek to negotiate the following:
  6. An appropriate contribution to the improvement of Harbour Road where the vehicle movements arising from development approved under this policy, together with vehicle movements arising from any other planing consents on the site, give rise to the need for such improvements
  7. An appropriate contribution to maintain or improve the biodiversity value of the site.

In assessing proposals for employment development under this policy consideration will be given to the existence of any other planning consents on the site including landfill operations or the winning of materials. Where it is considered that any such approvals, together with the proposal under consideration, would give rise to unacceptable impacts on the amenity of residents adjacent to or near the approaches to the site by virtue of increased traffic movements or by virtue of the nature of the development proposed then permission for development will be refused unless adequate mitigation measures are agreed.

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1.55 The Harbour Road site is extensive, covering around 23 hectares. However, its potential to accommodate employment development is severely limited, principally because of its important function as a flood water storage area which assists in protecting built-up areas of Lydney from flooding in adverse conditions. It is of great importance therefore to ensure that any use of this land is accompanied by appropriate measures to safeguard the flood storage capacity of the site.
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1.56 An area of 1.2 hectares in the south east of the site previously received a consent for industrial use, and is currently used for inert waste handling. A more recent consent has been given for the raising of land and the creation of water storage lakes. This latter consent covers around thirty percent of the site and will result in a raised area adjoining Harbour Road of around 1.3 hectares capable of employment use.
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1.57 The approach to the site via Station Road and Harbour Road passes residential properties. The road is not suitable in its current alignment and condition for accommodating significant additional traffic movements.
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1.58 Overall therefore it is considered that the allocated site has very limited potential capacity to contribute to employment land supply in Lydney. The need to complete landfill operations, restricted currently to 26 vehicles per day in the interests of amenity, also suggests that any employment development opportunities will only come forward over an extended period.
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1.59 For the above reasons it is considered that this site cannot be regarded as providing a reliable contribution on any significant scale to employment land availability in Lydney over the Plan period. However, it is appropriate to recognise that some employment re-use is appropriate for land created by virtue of any planning consents granted by the County Council (as the Mineral and Waste Planing Authority). As the policy requirements indicate, the development potential of the site is likely to be very limited.
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Other Employment Land in Lydney
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1.60 There are a number of well-established industrial sites in Lydney with some remaining capacity to accommodate further development. The Lydney Industrial Estate, on Harbour Road, could potentially provide around 2 hectares of undeveloped land within the site boundaries. Some of this is currently used for outside storage. There is no certainty therefore that it will come forward for development over the Plan period. However, the recent history of the site has demonstrated a continuing capacity for providing additional industrial floorspace and the refurbishment of existing buildings. The site undoubtedly provides a major source of space for a variety of businesses, including smaller uses, start up businesses and overflow capacity for businesses elsewhere in Lydney, in addition to the well-established companies on the site.
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1.61 The adjoining site to the east is occupied by Lydney Products. The extensive range of buildings on the site, many of variable quality, are not well suited to and exceed in floorspace capacity the needs of the company. There is potential for the redevelopment of parts of the site for employment use, or for refurbishment or re-use by businesses seeking lower cost premises. It is not certain what site availability may come forward over the Plan period. Policy (R)FE.2 provides guidance on the further development of established employment sites.
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1.62 There is limited undeveloped land adjoining Mead Lane, amounting to around 1 hectare.
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Transport
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1.63 The completion of the Lydney bypass in 1995 had the desired effect of removing a proportion of traffic from the town centre. Nevertheless, there remain significant volumes of traffic which use town centre roads for local trips within Lydney, and to gain access to other parts of the south Forest area, particularly via Bream Road and Forest Road. Both of these have town centre junctions in the principal shopping area of Newerne Street/Hill Street. Observed traffic volumes (1996) exceeded 10,000 vehicles per day (two-way). Such volumes have a detrimental impact on the town centre environment, pedestrian amenity and safety, and the vitality and viability of the functioning of the town centre.
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1.64 The County Council has carried out a study of the transport network in Lydney, including an analysis of the impact of the proposed strategic development site to the east of Lydney. The conclusions of that study indicate the need to implement a sustainable transport strategy which would be likely to lead to increased levels of trips by bus, cycling and walking. Such a strategy would be required in any event to provide for a sustainable development pattern to the east of Lydney. It is also required to mitigate the impacts of additional movements arising from the development east of Lydney on the already congested town centre road network.
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1.65 The adopted Local Plan contains provisions for a transport network to provide relief for the town centre. Those provisions have been reviewed by the aforementioned study in the context of providing a sustainable transport system as now required by Government advice. As a result, elements of the adopted Local Plan transport proposals have been modified, or have been confirmed as requirements for implementation, to mitigate the impacts of the proposed strategic development at Lydney.
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1.66 The Plan review will require that the implementation of the transport network improvements should be funded by the proposed development east of Lydney. The principal requirements are set out in Policy (R)F.Lydney 1, and in paragraph 1.27 above. Further detail will be provided by the development brief accompanying the above allocation.
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1.67 The policy below identifies land to be safeguarded for the implementation of the highway network improvements.
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Safeguarding of Land for Highway Improvements
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(R)F.Lydney 8

Land will be safeguarded for highway improvements principally in Lydney town centre as shown on the Proposals Map.

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1.68 The Proposals Map identifies the land required to implement the principal elements of the proposed town centre road improvements. These will need to be implemented progressively as the development east of Lydney takes place, to mitigate the impacts of the traffic movements arising from that development. The construction of the proposed highway improvements will be complemented by other measures to provide for increased modal choice for locally generated trips. Such measures will include increased frequency and extended routes for local bus services, and provision for safe and convenient walking and cycling routes.
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1.69 The safeguarded land includes a town centre link route from the Lydney bypass to Hill Street. Funding for this route will not be sought as part of the obligations attached to the development of land to the east of Lydney. However, as that development is implemented, and the associated highway schemes, the operation of the highway network will be monitored to assess its effectiveness. If the monitoring indicates a need to bring forward the town centre link the Council will seek the programming of this improvement in the Local Transport Plan for an appropriate timing in the Plan period.
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1.70 The development brief for land to the east of Lydney provides greater detail on the highway requirements for Lydney. The proposed timing and phasing of the implementation of the highway proposals and bus service improvements will be negotiated and form part of the comprehensive development agreement for the site.
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1.71 The implications of the highway proposals will have related benefits for the town centre. These are identified below in the section dealing with the town centre.
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Rail Transport - Lydney Station and Adjoining Land
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(R)F.Lydney 9

Land will be allocated at Lydney Station and adjoining land to accommodate rail related development, including car parking and bus turning for rail users, rail-freight transhipment, and for other uses ancillary to the effective utilisation of Lydney Station and the Dean Forest Railway for passenger, tourism and freight purposes. Only proposals for development related to these purposes will be permitted.

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1.72 Lydney has the sole main line railway station in the District. The Dean Forest Railway line has a direct connection to the main line at this point. The present level of stopping train services at Lydney Station is very restricted, and is not conducive to large scale use of the service by residents of the south Forest. Passenger levels may also be affected by the inadequate scale and security of the car parking available, and the lack of passenger facilities such as enclosed waiting rooms, and poor platform access.
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1.73 The Council is concerned to see improved use of this important transport asset, and has indicated to Railtrack and the rail operating companies its willingness to contribute for example to the cost of improved and secure car parking and bus access. The above policy seeks to reserve the use of this land to provide for such enhancements.
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1.74 In addition the policy identifies the opportunity for developing rail freight transhipment facilities on land lying between the main rail line and the Dean Forest Railway line. This offers a realistic potential in the District to provide for rail freight transhipment. As such it is considered essential to reserve the land for such rail related uses.
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1.75 The Dean Forest Railway track connects to the main line at Lydney. This offers significant marketing and development opportunities for rail related tourism development in the District. The DFR route extends to Parkend in the central Forest area. There is also some opportunity for rail freight originating along the DFR line, at Parkend for example, to be distributed via the main line to destinations outside the District.
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1.76 The allocated site offers potentially significant sustainable transport opportunities for the Forest of Dean of relevance to local passenger and freight movements, and to tourism. For these reasons the allocated land will be reserved solely for rail related development.
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Town Centre
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1.77 A recent town centres health check study has been undertaken for the Council. The conclusions of the study indicate that Lydney town centre is in a [email protected] state of health, where the indicators give some cause for concern about the ability of the town in its present form to fulfill its potential to serve the needs of its catchment population and retailers/investors. It suggests that action is required to address the negative issues which affect the performance of the town centre.
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1.78 The above study does identify a number of positive indicators for Lydney. It is the largest of the District centres (both in floorspace and number of retail units), it has the strongest diversity of uses, the lowest proportion of vacancies, sufficient and accessible parking, well established businesses and good pedestrian flow levels. However, there are relatively low levels of satisfaction with the town centre environment on the part of both shoppers and traders, and the latter have mixed views with respect to future trading performance. The study also concludes that the extended linear nature of the centre affects performance, and the pedestrian environment requires improvement to address issues of pedestrian/vehicle conflict and to overcome areas of poor townscape.
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1.79 In recent years the town centre has experienced new interest in retail investment, primarily related to convenience shopping. The Somerfield store has completed a large extension and a new retail unit has been constructed and occupied by Dillons, both located in the Newerne Street/Hams Road area. In the same area a planning consent has been given for a retail redevelopment with a frontage to Newerne Street. On the High Street a consent has been given for a 2,500m5 foodstore on a site which has been partly cleared for development.
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1.80 At present Lydney captures some trade from both Cinderford and Coleford. If the above consents are implemented this may increase the level of trade capture. However, overall there is a large current outflow of both convenience and comparison goods expenditure from the Lydney catchment area to other centres, particularly Gloucester and Chepstow. There is considerable potential therefore for Lydney town centre to recapture some of this spending, particularly for convenience goods. This potential will be increased by the planned significant increase in new housing in Lydney, which will increase the catchment population for the town centre.
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1.81 The issues for the Plan with respect to the town centre are therefore to address the town centre environment, by townscape improvements and by traffic management measures to improve the pedestrian environment, to encourage increased levels of activity in what are currently secondary shopping areas within the extended linear nature of the centre, and to ensure opportunities exist for new business investment in the town centre.
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1.82 The Plan review therefore will propose highway improvements to introduce pedestrian priority into Newerne Street and to allocate sites for town centre development. The Plan will refer to priority areas for environmental improvements, although proposals to address these areas will be dealt with outside the Local Plan, involving the Lydney Partnership, a broad representative group responsible for developing a local strategy and action plan for the town.
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Newerne Street Pedestrian Priority
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(R)F.Lydney 10

Following the construction of the Newerne Street Link and associated works traffic management measures will be implemented to achieve pedestrian priority in Newerne Street to the east of Regent Street.

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1.83 The construction of the above works will enable most of Newerne Street to be freed from through traffic. This will enable a programme of works to be implemented in this primary shopping area to establish pedestrian priority. This will undoubtedly lead to an improved town centre environment, and enhance the functioning of the town centre.
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Development Site - High Street
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(R)F.Lydney 11

A site of 1.9 hectares will be allocated on High Street for primarily retail (A1) use. Development proposals must meet the following requirements:

  1. At least 1.3 hectares of the overall site area shall be restricted to retail (A1) use only together with any ancillary uses directly related to the business operations of an existing or proposed A1 site occupier
  2. The remainder of the site area may be developed for A1, A2 or A3 uses, or residential or other use appropriate for a town centre location.

An appropriate contribution will be sought to the implementation of environmental improvements in the High Street and towards the mitigation of any traffic impacts arising from the development of the site at the High Street/Bream Road junction.

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1.84 The site allocated by the above policy has a planning consent for around 2,500m5 (gross) of foodstore floorspace, together with a petrol filling station and associated car parking. The site has been partly cleared through demolition. This is a key development opportunity in Lydney town centre to accommodate new retail floorspace. It is also located towards the western end of the centre, in an area identified as having a weak shopping frontage resulting from the movement of the principal shopping area to Newerne Street and Hill Street. The development of the site for retail use would significantly assist with reducing the of current level of convenience expenditure outflow from Lydney.
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1.85 It is important for the future development of the town centre that this site should be retained principally for retail (A1) use. Its development would also assist in adding vitality to the western end of the town centre. It may be that other businesses in this part of the centre would benefit from the increased level of activity generated on this site, and the associated accessible car parking provided with retail developments.
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1.86 For the above reasons the policy proposes that at least two thirds of the site should be restricted to A1 uses, including any ancillary uses required by an A1 occupier. A broad range of other town centre uses, including retail may occupy any remaining part of the site. This latter provision is intended to provide flexibility if required to arrive at a suitable development package for the site, although the Council would prefer to see the entire site occupied by an A1 user.
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1.87 Depending on the form of development proposed there may be a need to negotiate a contribution to the improvement of the High Street/Bream Road junction. A scheme of environmental improvements for the town centre will be prepared by the Council and the Lydney Partnership. An appropriate contribution will be sought towards implementing such improvements in the High Street area.
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Mixed Use Site - Hill Street
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(R)F.Lydney 12

0.9 hectare of land at Hill Street will be allocated for a mixture of uses, including A1, A2, A3, B1 and residential. Development will be required to provide for an adequate site access. Any proposal incorporating land fronting Hill Street shall provide for an appropriate form of development which will maintain a secondary shopping frontage. An appropriate contribution will be sought towards implementing environmental improvements in Hill Street.

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1.88 This large site is currently in use primarily as a builders merchant and materials storage yard. It may at some stage come forward for partial or total redevelopment. Its town centre location makes it eminently suitable in principle for a wide variety of uses. At present vehicular access to the site is limited. It may be possible to overcome this limitation. If land fronting Hill Street is incorporated in a site redevelopment proposal it will be important that any development should provide for retaining or replacing an appropriate town centre street frontage, reflecting at least the existing secondary frontage classification of the area. A contribution will be sought towards implementing environmental improvements in Hill Street, as part of the package of measures to be agreed with the Lydney Partnership.
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Environment and Amenity
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1.89 Lydney benefits from a large and mature land area laid out for recreation, amenity and sport which is located to the south of the town centre and easily accessible to a large part of the town population. Most of this area is owned and managed by the Lydney Recreation Trust. In addition there is a Sports Centre located on the Whitecross School site which provides extensive indoor sports facilities, including a recently completed swimming pool, together with excellent outdoor facilities. The range and quality of recreation and sports facilities in Lydney is the best in the District, and in terms of area exceeds the NPFA standards for the existing and projected population of the town over the Plan period. The Plan Review will provide appropriate protection for these areas, primarily through the identification of sites on the Proposals Map as important open areas (Policy (R)FBE.7) and outdoor recreational areas (Policy (R)FBE.9).
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1.90 To the south of the principal recreational area lies an extensive area of open land which previously was a waste tip. Tipping operations ceased in the 1980's, and the ground has been covered and grassed. It is considered that the ground conditions are unlikely to be suitable for most forms of built development in the short to medium term without extensive and costly measures. Investigations would also be required to establish whether ground disturbance would lead to the release of hazardous gases or material. The site is now traversed east-west by the Lydney bypass. The following policy proposes a suitable use for this land.
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Open Space - Land to the South of the Boating Lake
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(R)F.Lydney 13

20 hectares of land to the south of the boating lake will be allocated for open space, leisure and recreational uses.

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1.91 It is considered that the most feasible future use of this site is for amenity open space, perhaps combined with the provision of more formal leisure and recreational uses such as outdoor pitches. It is likely that the ground conditions will result in only minor built structures on the site, such as pavilions or changing rooms. A small part of the allocated area comprises the remains of the former Lydney Marsh and has a nature conservation value. Proposals for the allocated site therefore should avoid any active recreation use of this part of the site. The Lydney Partnership will consider the potential for undertaking environmental improvement works on this land. In addition footpath and cycle routes may be developed through the site, to link to trip attractors such as Whitecross School, employment sites and the railway station.
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Development at Lydney Harbour
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(R)F.Lydney 14

Land at Lydney Harbour will be allocated for recreation, leisure and tourism use, subject to the following requirements:

  1. Proposals must not adversely affect the drainage and flood control functions of the harbour
  2. Proposals must provide for the preservation or enhancement of the Ancient Monument within the site
  3. Proposals must not adversely affect the nature conservation interest of the site, the adjoining River Severn, or the Coastal Zone
  4. Residential use, and visitor accommodation designed for overnight stay, will not be permitted.

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1.92 Lydney Harbour was once active in the handling of cargoes of stone, timber and coal from the Forest of Dean, for onward shipment by vessels gaining access via the Severn Estuary. Commercial use of the harbour for freight has long since ceased. The harbour and its immediate surrounds have been given statutory protection as an Ancient Monument.
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1.93 The harbour and its associated canal function as a most important element in the management of surface water drainage in relation to Lydney, and in providing flooding protection in relation to the River Severn. It is essential therefore that any development should not detract from these functions, and should where possible enhance them.
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1.94 Most of the allocated site is potentially liable to flooding. The Environment Agency (the current site owner) would oppose any significant built development within the Harbour area, particularly for residential purposes. However, it is accepted that the future management of this important historic site requires an active use of the land, for tourism, recreation and leisure. Some building will be permissable within these uses, for a clubhouse, boat workshop or visitor services. Generally however the use of the site will be related to the development of a marina function, together with visitor access and interpretation. Any proposed use must ensure the preservation of the Ancient Monument.
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1.95 It is likely that the Environment Agency with its partner organisations, including the Council, will form a Management Trust for the site and will jointly seek funding to implement an agreed Plan for the redevelopment of Lydney Docks. The above policy provides for the form of development agreed as suitable by the partner agencies.
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The River Severn Coastal Zone
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1.96 The Severn Estuary is a designated Ramsar Site, Special Protection Area and candidate Special Area of Conservation. Its value for wildlife is thus internationally acknowledged. Development on the coastal hinterland of the Estuary could potentially affect these habitat interests, and thus will be controlled by the relevant policies in the Natural Environment chapter of the Plan dealing with protected sites and habitats, and the Coastal Zone.


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


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