Skip to main content

To: The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Save wildlife and national forest from major development

Sadly planning permission was granted but we are applying for Judicial Review. To find out more and to make a donation to our fundraising campaign please go to our website
Thank you for all of your support.

Save wildlife and national forest from major development

Dear Secretary of State please intervene and hold a PUBLIC INQUIRY before making your decision on major development in the FOREST OF DEAN (Planning Application P0663/14/OUT)

Why is this important?

This major development will cause irreversible damage to the landscape and ecology of this stunning part of the publicly-owned National Heritage Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. This site supports wildlife with EU protection. It is a much valued space for recreation with unrestricted public access. There are other solutions and sites for job creation.

This is a major development of a new college, hotel, housing, employment sites and a through road on a sensitive landscape and wildlife site in the National Heritage Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. There are 2 national, cross-boundary walking routes through the site at Cinderford Northern Quarter.

Many acres of publicly-owned Statutory Forest will be transferred to the Forest of Dean District Council and the planning application for development made by the Homes and Communities Agency. This is likely to set an unwarranted national planning precedent for major development in other areas of the Forest of Dean, other publically owned Forests and other highly sensitive landscape and wildlife areas throughout the UK.
· National Public Forests should not be used as cheap building land for major development. The majority of the development site is part of the Premier Heritage Forest of Dean, owned by the nation and the site should remain publically owned as recommended by the Independent Panel Report on Forestry wholly accepted by the Government.
· Over 1,300 species have been recorded there, the breeding and feeding grounds for many EU and Nationally protected species. There is a Lesser Horseshoe Bat maternity roost vital to the maintenance of the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Bat Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The site also has 13 other different species of bat, Great Crested Newts, Dormouse, other BAP species of newts and reptiles, butterflies, moths, dragonflies, notable and red data book species of birds including the iconic Turtle Dove and Hawfinch. This site should never have been allocated for development because of its high ecological value supported by a tightly knit interdependent ecosystem. The soils, plants and invertebrates underpin the food supply for other species’ survival. With the advent of Climate Change it is contrary to Government Policy not to protect such habitats.

· The Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Bat SAC is one of the most important areas in the UK for lesser horseshoe bats containing 26% of the national population and is cross boundary with Wales. Yet it is to be subjected to the experimental manoeuvre of attempting to relocate a large maternity roost, vital to the maintenance of the SAC and to demolish an existing maternity roost.
· Unrestricted public access over the site will be lost. The quiet enjoyment of recreation, wildlife and landscape experienced by local residents and visitors will be drastically degraded into a busy noisy urban polluting environment, visible from vista viewpoints outside the site.
· This is not Sustainable Development. By the National Indices of Deprivation which uses the 20% percentile to indicate deprivation, the Forest of Dean and Cinderford is not a deprived area. Alternative solutions have not been fully explored such as alternative sites for the different elements of this major development. The biodiversity of this site could significantly contribute to the economy of the Public Forest Estate and the economy of the District as a resource for ecotourism (as illustrated by the economic generation achieved by the Peregrine Falcons for the Wye Valley) and as an educational resource for study and research which could attract EU funding.

· This is not good planning, is not value for money for the taxpayer. The site is designated by the Coal Authority as a “High Risk Area” The creation of a new college building, hotel and housing is highly inadvisable in an area riddled with mine shafts, post open cast mining landfill and part flood zone. There is significant risk of massive overspending of taxpayers' money.
· The proposal is of more than local importance because it gives rise to substantial effects beyond the immediate locality, cross-boundary and national controversy, and conflicts with national policies on important matters.

BY supporting this campaign you are asking the Secretary of State to intervene and make the planning decision by holding a PUBLIC INQUIRY, rather than be determined by the Forest of Dean District Council, a joint sponsor of the scheme and therefore an interested party.

Oject to this planning application, P0663/14/OUT Hybrid at

This is the link to the planning application website:

Read about the campaign and full objection details on Dean Natural Alliance Website:
Photo Gareth Jones

How it will be delivered

I will email the signatories.

Cinderford Northern Quarter

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Reasons for signing

  • I signed because I value the benefits of peaceful walks in forests for mental health of everyone in this world, over and above profit and gain for some. I signed too because I value the unseen habitants of this forest, wildlife. This forest is invaluable and irreplaceable in our lifetimes if destroyed. Thank you.
  • This is a very, very bad decision. To ruin what little we have left in the way of natural almost unspoilt landscape just so that the rich can get richer.
  • Full of wildlife lost forever for future generations! Criminal


2014-10-30 17:29:01 +0000

5,000 signatures reached

2014-09-09 17:41:27 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2014-09-05 19:12:29 +0100

500 signatures reached

2014-09-04 13:47:36 +0100

100 signatures reached

2014-09-04 05:33:18 +0100

50 signatures reached

2014-09-03 20:00:52 +0100

25 signatures reached

2014-09-03 19:03:53 +0100

10 signatures reached