A LACK of a Chepstow bypass when civic chiefs in the Forest of Dean set out where housing and businesses will go will make it all “pie in the sky”, according to a district councillor.
Councillor Nick Evans (C, Tidenham) has blasted the Forest of Dean District Council’s strategy for how the district will look in years to come.
The document, known as a local plan, sets out planning policies and proposals for new development across the Forest district until 2041.
Councillors voted on October 19 to press forward with developing a draft version to be out for consultation next year.
But Councillor Evans, who was the only one to vote against it in its current form, says the Green-led administration in Coleford has consigned his area to years of traffic congestion.
He says they need to put their ideology to one side and vote for the infrastructure that is needed in Beachley.
He said: “This local plan is undeliverable and pie in the sky, unless the Green Party, and their Labour supporters start putting ideology aside and actually vote for the infrastructure required to support the new village they are proposing to build at Beachley.
“By blocking support for a Forest Gateway Road but pushing ahead with this plan, the Greens and Labour have consigned my area to years of congestion, and shown that they are willing to ignore the views of residents in Tidenham and push ahead regardless.”
But Cllr Sid Phelps (G, Lydbrook), who is the cabinet member responsible at the Forest of Dean District Council, said officers at the authority believe the local plan strategy is deliverable and realistic.
He said they recognise there are challenges with the Ministry of Defence site in Beachley but the district council rejected calls to support the idea of a Chepstow bypass in July.
One of the main reasons being that the Welsh Government has a moratorium on new road building.
He said: “The council and officers believe that the Local Plan Strategy as agreed by an overwhelming majority of the council on October 19 is indeed deliverable and realistic.
“We will seek comments from interested groups and the public, in the new year and will press forward with developing Our Local Plan draft for Spring 2024.
“With regards to the Ministry of Defence site at Beachley, it is recognised that it certainly has its challenges, but the council did not support the idea of a Chepstow bypass on July 27 – not least because of the Welsh Government’s moratorium on new road building would simply mean a bottleneck on the Welsh side of the river.”
“Cabinet is delighted to be moving forward on our Local Plan and will be working hard to produce a draft as soon as practicable.”