Coleford residents denounce £2.3m town gateway plans

By Aaron Kendall   |   Assistant Editor   |
Wednesday 14th February 2018 11:15 am
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LAWNSTONE HOUSE: The Forest of Dean District Council scheme to redevelop the site into a mixed use area. Inset: Iain Baird, chairman of the Neighbourhood Plan steering committee which is against the scheme as it is currently presented. ()

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DISTRICT Council planners are on a head on collision course with Coleford Town Council over plans to create a £2.3 million gateway to the town centre.

The Forest of Dean District Council wants to redevelop the old Lawnstone House site on High Street. If approved, the scheme will see a new town square and gardens and a mix of housing and commercial units.

The district council has already amended the draft plan several times to counter criticisms from various groups.

However the Neighbourhood Plan group which has carried out extensive public consultations over the last three years, says the scheme continues to ignore the wishes of the local community.

Coleford Town Councillor, Iain Baird, who is also chairman Neighbourhood Plan steering committee, said: “We have met with representatives of the district council to try and get changes made.

“But apart from some cosmetic alterations, the authority has not budged. When we were discussing the plans with the authority we were prepared to compromise, but this arrangement was not reciprocated by the council."

However, the district council maintains that it has taken the feedback by residents, businesses and the Coleford Neighbourhood Development Plan steering group into consideration.

A spokesman said: “As a result of feedback the designs were amended to include additional greenery to enhance the open space area and a reduction in the height of the buildings to complement the surrounding architecture.”

The full Lawnstone Square plans and associated documents can be viewed on the Council’s website fdean.gov.uk under planning reference number P0067/18/FUL.

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