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Gloucestershire Business News

First ground cut on new Forest of Dean housing development

Directors from two of the UK's largest housebuilders swapped suits for high vis and hard hats to put the first spades in the ground on a new 230 home development in the Forest of Dean.

Construction has now started at Merlin Gate in Newent, named in celebration of the neighbouring International Centre for Birds of Prey which protects a range of rare and endangered species.

Barratt and David Wilson Homes are building a range of two, three, four and five-bedroom homes, along with two new play areas, large areas of public open space, new roads and infrastructure.

New roads on the development will also all be named after birds of prey, following the housebuilders' sponsorship of a merlin at the International Centre for Birds of Prey last year.

As well as providing new homes for the area, the project promises to support up to 700 new jobs and will be making significant community contributions including £45,000 towards local libraries in Newent.

A total of 138 homes will be available on the open market, 79 of which will be developed as David Wilson Homes and 59 as Barratt Homes. The remaining 92 homes - 40 per cent of the total - will be affordable housing, made up from one-bedroom apartments and two, three, four and five-bedroom houses.

James Dunne, managing director at Barratt David Wilson Homes South West, said: "It's great to get construction underway here at Merlin Gate, bringing us one step closer to welcoming residents to the development. We're proud to be building much-needed new homes, taking care to follow strict procedures to ensure the construction site is operated safely.

"Designed to create a balanced and mixed community, the wide variety of homes we're building will suit a range of people from first time buyers to growing families here in the Forest of Dean."

Steve Williams, managing director at Barratt Homes South Wales, added: "We are delighted to be pressing ahead with this exciting new community for Newent, helping to meet a known housing shortage in the area."

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