No secret plans to build 4,000 homes between A40 and A48 in Gloucestershire village, says Forest of Dean council chief

There are no secret plans to build a garden village with thousands of homes between the A48 and A40 in Churcham, according to Forest council leaders. Proposals to create a new 4,000-home settlement between the A40 and A48 were shelved by Forest of Dean District Council leaders in 2022.

But proposals are being floated in neighbouring Tewkesbury Borough to build such a development which would straddle the border between Churcham and Highnam. This option is among those being considered as part of their joint strategic local plan with Gloucester City Council and Cheltenham Borough Council.

Councillor John Francis (I, Longhope and Huntley) asked Forest of Dean District Council leaders on February 22 to clarify their position on this. “I do get the duty to cooperate with other authorities on a strategic level,” he said.

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“In view of the past history we’ve had with this possible proposal and the way it has been put forward as an option from Tewkesbury as one of heir options for development, can you please assure me there has been no instruction from cabinet to officers to develop plans for a crossborder single settlement in this location?”

Councillor Sid Phelps (G, Lydbrook), who is the cabinet member responsible for the local plan, thanked him for flagging the issue and told the council there are no plans for such a development in that part of the Forest district.

“Please rest assured we have not got plans in this patch,” he said. “We have a duty to cooperate. But we’ve got no secret plans to be developing there.

“In fact, we’ve had discussions outside the meeting, as you know, we need to focus on finding our own allocations before we are offering allocations to a neighbouring authority, I would say.”

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