Backlash over 375-home plan for Newent
By Laura Enfield | 2nd June 2023
Plans for a 375-home development in Newent have been met with fears it would overwhelm the historic market town and turn it into a "dormitory of Gloucester".
The proposals include a new school and employment land and have garnered more than 40 objections and a 225-strong petition.
Developer Robert Hitchins Ltd has applied to Forest of Dean District Council to develop almost 60 acres of land south of Gloucester Street.
Consultants working on the scheme said it will create much-needed housing in a sustainable location.
But creator of the petition Christine Howley disagrees and said Newent has exceeded its new homes target in the Forest of Dean Local Plan.
She said: "Our infrastructure is creaking and we are full to bursting point. But now there is an application for the biggest development we've seen yet. 375 new homes bringing nearly 1,000 new people to Newent.
"We believe this is too much, too soon, and are asking the planning authority, the Forest of Dean District Council, to say no to this application, when it comes before them in June."
The outline planning application (P0584/23/OUT) is for up to 375 homes, a first form entry primary school including nursery, up to 83,958.5 sq ft of employment land and a centre which could have shops, cafes and takeaway.
Objector Heather Roberts said four new estates have been built in the last 10 years all accessed along Meek Road, Onslow Road, Gloucester Street then via the busy junction that joins the B4215.
She wrote: "Newent currently does not have the infrastructure in place to support more residents as the schools and doctors practise are already busy and struggling to cope.
"I believe this development is only the start of a proposed larger one encompassing many fields behind this site making Newent a dormitory town for Gloucester with no identity."
The developers design and access statement said: "The vision for land south east of Newent is to create an attractive place for future generations, which sits comfortably within the surrounding countryside and creates a positive sense of place that fosters well-being, inclusion and overall community cohesion."
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