MAJOR plans to build 47 homes in a Forest of Dean village which are opposed by more than 70 local residents are up for debate this week.

Forest of Dean District Council are considering a planning application to develop land off Ellwood Road in Milkwall near Coleford, four miles from Lydbrook.

The proposals by K & D James & Martin have to be considered by councillors as it constitutes major development.

The scheme covers 1.59 hectares and includes eight one bed flats, 16 two bed houses, 17 three bed homes and six four beds arranged around a new single estate road off Ellwood Road.

The proposed Milkwall homes layout
The proposed Milkwall homes layout (Local Democracy)

The new homes would be mainly arranged as detached or semi-detached properties with four terraced rows of three units.

And most of them are two storeys in height but four of the proposed houses are to be 2.5 storeys.

And they would be built using traditional styles and forms and finished in a mixture of red or blue brickwork, re-constituted rough dressed stone and slate grey cills underneath pitched, grey or red tiled roofs.

The windows would include light grey render surround detail with light grey uPVC casement frames, while the guttering would be made of black uPVC materials.

Coleford Town Council recognises the site is allocated for housing in their neighbourhood development plan but raised concerns over the lack of affordable housing, impact on bats and that they want the 30mph zone extended.

However, the proposals have been controversial with dozens of residents, and a total of 75 objections have been lodged with the council.

Their main concerns include road safety, as they believe the “packed” development site is unsuitable for its rural location.

And there is a lack of meaningful public transport, according to the objectors, while the visibility at the site entrance onto Ellwood Road in the Milkwall direction is “extremely limited” around a blind bend, which means the potential for accidents is high unless traffic calming measures are introduced.

One resident told planners in an objection: “The proposed access to the site from a narrow rural lane on a blind bend could be considered laughable if it wasn't so frighteningly dangerous!

“I can speak to this with great authority having had a grandstand seat of the road for eight hours a day during my time home working.

“On a daily basis I have witnessed many near misses from the already over populated minor road, and this was just the cars!

“On occasions when two larger vehicles meet, the road comes to a standstill and chaos ensues. What makes this proposal even more ridiculous is the fact that there is an obvious solution; access via Station Road.”

Other concerns include a lack of infrastructure/facilities in the area, schools cannot accept new pupils and doctors, dentists are already overstretched and would struggle to cope with the additional numbers.

Planning officers have recommended approving the scheme as they believe on balance it will not cause harm to the character and appearance, living conditions, biodiversity and highway safety of the surrounding area than already exists.

They said extensive negotiations have taken place to address issues raised by consultees and residents and in particular to secure six affordable homes and mitigate harm to biodiversity.

Weighing strongly in favour of the development is the provision of housing on an allocated site and the delivery of affordable homes, they said in their report.

There are also economic benefits that development would bring both during construction due to jobs and after construction with additional residents to support facilities and services.