Chapter 29

Mitcheldean

Introduction
29.1 Mitcheldean is a large settlement with a population of approximately 2110 in January 2000. The village is set in a narrow valley bottom with land rising steeply both to the east and west. On the latter side the topography is particularly steep, and the edge of the built up area joins onto a very exposed hillside. On the east the village is hemmed in by the large Xerox employment site. To the north and south Mitcheldean is bounded very closely by open agricultural land. The whole of the village is set within the Special Landscape Area of the Plan. The setting and landform of Mitcheldean acts as a constraint to the outward expansion of the settlement.
29.2 Mitcheldean is located immediately adjacent to the A.4136, approximately 19 kilometres west of Gloucester and approximately 6 kilometres north of Cinderford. The A.4136 is designated a County Principal route and Primary Lorry route, forming an important part of the highway infrastructure of the Forest of Dean. A strategic improvement scheme for the whole of the A.4136 is included within Gloucestershire County Council's Local Transport Plan. Proposals include physical improvements to the road as it rises steeply out of Mitcheldean to the south and traffic speed reduction measures.
29.3 Mitcheldean is an old settlement which acts as an important local service centre within the South Forest area. Mitcheldean contains a good range of local shops, a library, health centre, bank, a primary and a secondary school. A number of individual buildings of distinctive character and quality are located within the centre of the village which forms the nucleus of the Conservation Area, designated in June 1989. Part of the centre has undergone redevelopment which has provided valuable additional services, but at some loss to the character of the built environment.
29.4 Despite physical constraints to development Mitcheldean grew very rapidly between the mid 1960's and mid 1970's with the development of Xerox. At its peak the company employed nearly 5000 people, leading to the development of new housing estates. Despite the reduction of employment at Xerox during the mid 1980's and reorganisation more recently at the end of 1998, the company is still the largest employer in the District with approximately 2000 employees. As the company has retrenched its operations it has released very large areas of floorspace which has been subsequently occupied by a wide variety of other businesses.
29.5 A number of important open areas exist within Mitcheldean, including a large recreation ground to the north west of the village which the Plan seeks to protect. Other sites have also been identified as important open areas because of their visual importance and amenity value. These include the open space around the primary school, St. Michaels Church and the entrance to the Xerox site adjacent to the A.4136.
Development Strategy
29.6 Mitcheldean is an important employment and service centre. The strategy will seek to promote these roles. The strategy will provide for the development of further housing to provide for local needs over the Plan period in addition to existing commitments.
29.7 Further employment development within the Xerox site will be supported as an important component of the promotion of economic development opportunities in the south Forest Area. The Forest of Dean District Council will support the priority given to the further improvement of the A.4136 in the Local Transport Plan as a principal traffic route into the Forest of Dean, improving access to Mitcheldean.
29.8 A number of constraints will limit the outward expansion of Mitcheldean including the topography and landscape character of the countryside surrounding the village. The quality of the built environment of the Conservation Area is an additional constraint to development which will be protected and enhanced by specific Plan policies.
29.9 New development within the core of Mitcheldean will need to respect the quality of the existing Conservation Area. The long history of Mitcheldean may give rise to the need for archaeological investigations to accompany development proposals.
Housing
29.10 The population of Mitcheldean in January 2000 was approximately 2110 with an estimated dwelling stock of 844. From the end of 1991 to the beginning of 2000 some 56 dwellings had been completed, including the development of 38 dwellings on one site at Gloucester Road. Further land sources which are suitable for housing developments and are expected to be developed within the Plan period include one large site in the vicinity of the junction of the High Street with the A.4136, which has outline planning consent for 25 dwellings, and land off Gloucester Road which has outline consent for 14 dwellings.

Population (Village) Housing Stock (Village)
1981-1752 1981-701
1991-1970 1991-788
2000-2110 2000-844

29.11 Up until 1981 the population of Mitcheldean grew rapidly primarily through the development of new housing estates to support the expansion of Xerox. More recently the rate of development has slowed down with relatively modest house building over the past 15 years. In addition to the number of dwellings coming forward through development on committed sites there is scope for further residential development in the form of infilling and small groups of houses on appropriate sites.
Housing Allocation - Gloucester Road
(R)F.Mitcheldean 1

0.82 hectares of land at Gloucester Road will be allocated for residential development for the provision of 20 new dwellings (Area A). A further 0.86 hectares of land will be allocated for strategic landscaping (Area B). The development of Area A will be required to provide for the strategic landscaping of Area B. The development will be required to:

  1. Provide a single point of access from the A.4136 (Gloucester Road)
  2. Provide safe and convenient pedestrian and cycle links to the village centre
  3. Provide a landscaped buffer zone along the boundary of the A.4136 to limit any noise disturbance and limit the level of visual intrusion of new development
  4. Provide for an appropriate number of affordable housing units.
    .
    In addition the Council will seek to negotiate the following:
  5. An appropriate contribution to educational provision for the prospective occupiers of the site
  6. An appropriate contribution to the provision or enhancement of community facilities.
29.12 1.68 hectares of land is allocated for residential development and landscaping adjacent Gloucester Road. This site obtained planning consent early in 1995, however this permission has now expired. The site is located in a prominent position on the approach to Mitcheldean from Gloucester. It is an important site that could make a positive contribution to the setting of the village in terms of the principal approach from the east along the A.4136.
29.13 Residential development will be confined to Area A which covers an area of approximately 0.82 hectares. Part of the site previously had planning permission for housing and can therefore be shown to be capable of development in a satisfactory manner. The more open part of the site identified as Area B which covers an area of approximately 0.86 hectares will be landscaped and planted to achieve an improved visual appearance on the approach to Mitcheldean. Area B should remain free of buildings, taking advantage of the relief of the site in such a way as to reduce the impact of the present skyline development and be designed to complement the landscaped area to the east owned by Xerox. Further detailed guidance is provided in a development brief prepared for the site.
Housing Allocation - Lining Wood House
(R)F.Mitcheldean 2

1.7 hectares of land to the north-west of Mitcheldean adjacent to the B.4224 will be allocated to accommodate approximately 40 new dwellings. Development will be required to:

  1. Provide a single point of vehicular access from the B.4224
  2. Provide for strategic landscaping to the site boundaries, incorporating existing landscape features where appropriate
  3. Provide for safe and convenient pedestrian and cycle links to areas of employment and local services and facilities located within the centre of Mitcheldean
  4. Provide for an appropriate number of affordable housing units.
    .
    In addition the Council will seek to negotiate the following:
  5. An appropriate contribution to educational provision for the prospective occupiers of the site
  6. An appropriate contribution to the provision or enhancement of community facilities in Mitcheldean.
29.14 1.7 hectares of land to the north-west of Mitcheldean is allocated for residential development. The site is well located within the built up area of Mitcheldean, adjacent to existing residential development and accessible to the village centre, local employment and services. The northern boundary of the site provides a firm boundary to the open countryside beyond.
29.15 Access to the site will be limited to a single point to be provided from the B.4224. Visibility improvements will be required to achieve a satisfactory access, and consideration should be given to extending the 30mph limit beyond the site entrance. Improvements to pedestrian and cycle links to the centre of Mitcheldean will be sought as part of the development.
29.16 The site is well contained by both existing residential development and hedgerows which can be incorporated into the development. Further detailed guidance is provided in a development brief prepared for the site.
Employment
29.17 Mitcheldean acts as an important employment centre within the South Forest both in terms of manufacturing and service industries, attracting workers from a wide catchment area. Xerox in particular is a major employer whose operations are concentrated on one large site to the east of Mitcheldean. Xerox however do not occupy all of the 27.1 hectare site that they own. As the organisation has rationalised it has released space to other businesses through the formation of the Mitcheldean Enterprise Workshops and the Xerox Business Park, providing a diversity of premises and occupiers of considerable value to the economic base of the District.
Xerox Employment Site - Safeguarding

 

 

(R)F.Mitcheldean 3

Employment land to the north-east of Mitcheldean will be safeguarded for future employment uses only.

29.18 In 1998 Xerox announced a reorganisation of its site at Mitcheldean in response to global restructuring of Xerox operations. The process of restructuring will result in the loss of 500 jobs to the Forest of Dean. The transfer of functions away from the existing site will release approximately 300,000 ft of available manufacturing space.
29.19 The Plan recognises land under current ownership of Xerox as an important component in the promotion of economic development opportunities for the south Forest Area. The Plan will support the principle of encouraging a continued investment and diversity of business uses and the full utilisation of the Xerox site.
29.20 During the previous Plan period the Forest of Dean District Council entered into a commitment to consider land at the south-east corner of the Xerox site for the provision of additional car parking. The District Council will continue to discuss with Xerox their need for car parking, reflecting the recent reorganisation of the site.
Stenders Employment Site - Safeguarding

 

 

(R)F.Mitcheldean 4

Employment land to the north west of Mitcheldean will be safeguarded for employment uses.

29.21 In addition to Xerox operations, Stenders business site provides additional employment opportunities. Whilst this site is located outside the Defined Settlement boundary of Mitcheldean, it remains well related to the village centre. The Stenders business site is currently operating at full capacity and has planning permission to extend the site. Policy (R)F.Mitcheldean 4 safeguards the employment use on land identified as Stenders Business site to ensure that the local economy is supported by existing employment sites.
29.22 Further employment at Mitcheldean is provided at Wilderness Quarry, Ladygrove and the commercial businesses located within the centre of the village. The Plan will continue to support the important role of Mitcheldean as a service and employment centre for the surrounding area.

FW v1


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


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