Housing Survey

Probably one of the most controversial of topics within our NDP, the mention of new housing usually brings one of two reactions. “Newent has enough new housing” or “We need houses that people can afford.”

Other views frequently voiced are about building on farmland, creaking infrastructure, lack of a good transport system and the need for another supermarket for all the new and existing residents. Hundreds more houses are likely to be built in Newent in the next decade or so and the planners want to try to meet the needs of the whole town, not just the people in the new housing. That is where the Neighbourhood Development Plan comes in. The bigger Local Plan, currently being prepared by the Forest of Dean District Council, cannot go into all the detail that is possible with the neighbourhood plans (NDPs). However, the Local Plan should be able to recommend a localised master plan to avoid development that is piecemeal, lacks coherence and makes no reference to the need for more amenities. The two plans should mesh together.

Our Housing Survey sets out to ask first what needs there are in the community for various types of housing and then asks for opinions about housing design.

You can access the survey online at

Please feel free to share the link with any residents within the Newent GL18 1** area. This Neighbourhood Plan is for the parish of Newent which includes Clifford’s Mesne, Botloes Green, Malswick, The Scarr, Anthony’s Cross and Cugley as well as the town of Newent

Newent Housing. Newent Housing.

How we responded to the government’s ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper.

Below are the responses we made to the 84-page Planning for the Future white paper on planning reform, published by the Government in 2020.  If the proposals in the White paper are enacted and our planning system is replaced by one based on the three proposed zones, it will mean that the role of the NDP will also be significantly altered. We felt that it was important that, as a Steering Group, we made the effort to understand the implications of these proposals and respond accordingly.

The first response is a covering email which addresses significant points to which it was not possible to respond within the 26 questions that were embedded in the white paper. Those questions (some slightly abbreviated) along with our responses are included in the second document. It is important to have a look at the White Paper itself as well, in order to fully understand the context of the questions and responses.

“I am grateful to Graham Highton and Helen Selwood, the other members of the three strong Working Group, which met to discuss the White Paper and our possible responses. The drafts were taken to the Steering Group who approved the responses by a clear majority. They were successfully submitted on Wednesday 28th October.” – Gill Moseley, Chair of the NDP Steering Group.


Character Assessments

‘Members of the NDP Steering Group continue to work on the character assessments, capturing images of the various street scenes and buildings of the parish to accompany detailed descriptions of the architecture, topography, roads, green spaces and much more.

Some of these pictures will find their way into the completed plan when it is published and the text will provide evidence for policy writing, for instance when it comes to protecting our valued green spaces or suggesting a style of housing that will complement the vernacular or historic architecture that helps give the Newent neighbourhood its character.

Planning for the Future – The Government’s proposals to change the planning system

The white paper, “Planning for the Future”, which was published on 6th August 2020 contained far-reaching proposals that, if implemented, would drastically change our present planning system. You can view them here.

We are concerned that local democratic involvement would be drastically reduced to only the first stage of the proposed new system, which would create three designated zones, “Growth”, “Renewal” and “Protection”, and every area would be allocated to one of these. After allocation, developers in the “Growth” and “Renewal” zones would have much more freedom to build what they want, without any right for local residents to have a say on planning applications.

The Newent Neighbourhood Development Plan’s Steering Group made a detailed response to the public consultation on this white paper in October 2020. 

At present, after substantial opposition from a wide variety of groups, the proposals are on hold, but it is expected that they will re-emerge in some form in due course.

We are back!

Good news – work resumes on Newent’s NDP. After the double whammy of Covid 19 restrictions and the retirement of our professional adviser, the Newent NDP Steering Group is back in action.

We welcome Liane James from Gloucester Rural Community Council (GRCC) as our new adviser who replaces Kate Baugh under whose guidance we embarked on this journey to make our local NDP.

We were due to look at the analysis of the questionnaires collected in October at our first major public Consultation and to undertake a Business and Employment Survey when lockdown hit us in March.

Coming to grips with Zoom technology, we met for a trial meeting with Liane, and we are delighted to be fully up and running again since July 2020. Some of our activities may continue to be restricted from time to time and we have been finding new ways of working, including publicising our themed surveys via social media.

Planning for the Future – The Government’s proposals

The white paper that was published on 6th August 2020 has far reaching proposals that, if implemented, would turn our present planning system upside down. You can view them here.

We are concerned that the level of local democratic involvement will be drastically reduced to the first stage of the proposed new system which will create three designated zones into which every area will be allocated. These zones are for Growth, Renewal and Protection. After that, developers will have much more freedom to build what they want.

The Newent Neighbourhood Development Plan’s Steering Group made a detailed response to these proposals.

Newent Neighbourhood Plan Business and Employment Survey

Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of their local area. It provides a powerful set of tools for local people to plan for the types of development to meet their community’s needs and has statutory weight when planning applications are considered. The steering committee is made up of a cross-section of volunteers (local residents and businessmen) and refers back to Newent Town Council as its responsible body.

The Neighbourhood Plan needs to reflect the views of business and employment in the Parish in order to provide evidence for the Plan, and the Steering Group would like to hear the views of the business community to be able to include them in the Plan.

If you run a business large or small in the parish, if you employ people or are a sold-trader, if you are a branch of a national or international company or work alone, we want to hear from you, whatever line of business you are in.

The term “business” is very broad and also includes community organisations such as the Library and health centre, charity shops and the leisure centres.

Please let us know your views and help us to help shape the future of Newent for the benefit of Newent. It can take as little as 2 minutes to complete!

*Click here* to fill in the questionnaire.

The closing date for this survey is Friday April 10th 2020.


Newent NDP consultation a resounding success

On Saturday 5th October, people in the parish of Newent were invited to have their say on matters that will shape the future of the town and its surrounding area in the Newent Neighbourhood Development Plan’s first big public event. Twelve display stands offered topics to talk about such as housing, the environment, traffic and transport, community facilities, and business.

Approximately two hundred people visited the consultation event. The Memorial Hall was aglow with post-it notes where people were encouraged to leave their comments on maps and documents. A detailed questionnaire was also available which gave the opportunity to express preferences and make comments on the things that matter to Newent. This questionnaire is available in The Library, the Town Council Office and at Gooch Sports until 21st October. It can also be downloaded from this website.

This plan is community led from start to finish. Gathering opinions and ideas at the start is crucial to making the policies which will form the plan. It is eventually finalised by approval at local level with a public referendum.

For more details of what happens in between and how to offer help, please contact us through this website or the Town Council. The Steering Group welcomes people with specific knowledge on the topics involved or with technological expertise.

Newent Neighbourhood Development Plan Questionnaire (October 2019)

After a successful first public consultation in October 2019, we are still on the lookout for more and broader perspectives on what Newent residents and those in the surrounding areas want to see from future developments in and around the town.

To that end, we’d love for as many as possible to answer a short questionnaire. We’ll endeavour to make this easily Submittable online in the future, but for now, if you could download the following PDF file, print it, fill it in, and either email it to us at, or drop it off at the Newent Library, Town Council office or Gooch Sports store on the high-street. You can also pickup hard copies from those locations if you prefer.

Click here to download the Questionnaire Newent 2019 PDF

NDP Timeline – what happens when?

A neighbourhood development plan is a lengthy project spanning a number of years, not only because of the work involved, but so that it can best represent the views and wishes of as wide a group as possible of local people. That process is broken down clearly into a number of key steps, however, which can make understanding it all that bit easier.


The next major event on the timeline is the public consultation in October. There we will draw on the local community of Newent and the surrounding areas to find out what people really want to see happen to the town in the years to come.

From there, further investigation will be undertaken on specific issues and another public consultation held to determine whether the plan reflects the views of the community. A referendum will finally be held in the parish and if approved, the plan will be finally “made” and finalized.


Newent Character Assessment

One of the most important roles for the Newent Neighbourhood Development Project is information gathering. That means finding out just who and what makes Newent what it is. To that end, members of the NDP have spent glorious summer days, evenings, and weekends scouring Newent’s streets and lanes, taking pictures and getting an idea of the various areas of Newent and its surrounding areas.

It’s a beautiful place to live and we’ve gathered a number of fantastic images to best illustrate that. You’ll see many of these in October during the first public consultation, where we’ll be excited to hear from you about what makes you love living in Newent and what you think it could do better.

To learn more about the Public Consultation, head over to the dedicated page. If you’d be willing to give up one evening a month and a few hours of your time as you can spare to help shape the future of Newent, please do get in touch with us using the dedicated contact page.

Here is an example of just one of the areas our tireless volunteers have mapped out and catalogued in recent weeks.