PLANS to build 70 homes on the outskirts of Lydney have been approved despite concerns the sewage system may not cope as it has not been upgraded since 1974.

Charles Church, sister brand of Persimmon Homes, has been granted permission from Forest of Dean District Council to build the homes on land north of the A48.

The plans have been revised and reduced from the original scheme of 81 homes.

The new proposed mix of homes is eight one bedroom flats, nine two bed properties, nine three bed houses, 32 four bed homes and a dozen five bed dwellings.

And a total of 28 houses are proposed to be affordable homes. Of these, 20 are for affordable rent, six are “first homes” and two are for shared ownership.

The proposed homes will be mainly two storey in form, but seven of the dwellings are two and a half storeys in height with two dormer windows on the front elevation and three rooflights on the rear.

Environmental features for the site include a parkland setting, public green open spaces, mature planting, bird nesting and bat roosting sites, and prospective wildlife buffer zones.

All homes granted permission will be around 30 per cent more energy efficient than existing housing stock, according to the developer.

But Councillor Andrew McDermid (G, Lydney East) raised concerns during the development management meeting on October 10.

He said there have been 800 homes built or planned near the A48 over the last seven years.

“That would indicate a colossal sewage water load to be disposed of. It’s got to go somewhere and I was informed reliably that the last time the sewage system was upgraded was 1974.

“I want to raise a concern that it may not be adequate provision for the great increment in sewage implied by this housing addition.”

Councillor Julia Gooch (Progressive Independents, Newent and Taynton) proposed approving the scheme in line with the officers’ recommendation.

She said: “It’s an allocated site and although I’m not 100 percent happy with these small garden spaces on family homes, there is quite a bit of open space there.

She also said it was good to see a contribution towards education and health services as well as a play area.

This was seconced by Cllr Clayton Williams (C, Hartpury and Redmarley).

Cllr Simon Phelps (I, Westbury-on-Severn) said he was pleased to see Severn Trent have acknowledged there are issues on the site.

“They potentially intend to take the situation seriously. That’s considerable progress on some of the previous applications that have come before this committee in the past.”

The committee voted unanimously to approve the proposals. Commenting after the meeting Persimmon Homes East Wales Land Director Adam Ryan said they were delighted to have secured full planning permission for our new phase at Bishops Mead in Lydney.

“Alongside the delivery of housing at Bishops Mead, we are proud to be investing over £2.1m in the area – including funding for a health centre, primary education, and transport provision – leaving a positive and lasting legacy for the community.

“The benefits of the scheme are also present in the employment opportunities created in construction, the council tax bills that will generate revenue for local services, and the environmental enhancements we have ensured across the site.

“We look forward to getting on site to start work on our exciting plans for this Charles Church phase which will deliver significant investment in the area and quality new homes for local people.

“We’d like to thank Forest of Dean council and key stakeholders for their positive engagement and cooperation.”

The developers say further community benefits at Bishops Mead include £100,000 for the District Council to spend on the Severn Estuary and new health centre in Lydney and around £500,000 for Gloucestershire County Council to fund primary education, libraries, and the local travel plan.

A future pedestrian link is to be delivered across Naas Lane while highways, verges, and footpaths will be offered for adoption to the County Council when completed.