Tuesday is Decision Day for Hitchens 375+ Houses plan for Newent

Despite what you may have read in the papers Robert Hitichens application to build 375+ new houses in Newent will be decided by the Forest of Dean District council next Tuesday, 9th July at 2pm. At their offices in Coleford. 

It is a public meeting so please come along if you can. We are the second item on the agenda. 

Planning officers are recommending that the application be rejected due to ecology and highways concerns. 

It is unusual for councilors to go against officers recommendations, especially on an application this contentious, but it does happen. So we need to put up as strong a showing as we can. 

Rev Simon Mason will be speaking for the objectors. 

Josh Robertson will be speaking for the Town Council , who you may remember also put in a strong objection. 

All of our three Forest of Dean District Councillors have the opportunity to speak: Julie Hubson, Gill Moseley and Julia Gooch. 

We have presented a petition with over 2,500 signatures from people who felt that this development was “Too much, too soon” for Newent. After having been the fastest growing of all the forest towns for the past 10 years and more. 

We have sent in a detailed objection which uses our local knowledge based on your comments and input, to show why this development is not sustainable and will do more harm than good for our town and the wider area, now and for generations to come.

If the District council do follow the advice of their officers and reject this application, Hitchens will very likely appeal. We think we have strong grounds for winning an appeal. 

If FoDC approves the application there is no right of appeal for those of us who objected. The building goes ahead. 

So please come to the meeting on Tuesday 9th July, at Coleford if you can. 

Remember when we started this process we told you about a meeting that Tim Gwilliam, then leader of District Council, came to in Newent, to discuss concerns about planning policies for Newent. 

At that Meeting the leader said:

“We thought you were happy with our plans for Newent, you never tell us any different.”

Tim Gwilliam, Former leader FoDC.

Let’s not give them that excuse again. 

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