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					       Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

                        Richard Crooks (S0810793)




FOREST
                LANDSCAPE STRATEGY & PLANNING FRAMEWORK
OF DEAN




                        December 2009| LC423
  [Type text]                                                   Page 1
     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework




Richard Crooks                                                Page 1
        Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

                                                                CONTENTS


0. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................... 4
    0.1 Report Objectives and Aims......................................................................................................... 4
    0.2 Study Area .................................................................................................................................... 4
    0.3 Methodology................................................................................................................................ 5
1. EVOLUTION OF THE LANDSCAPE ........................................................................................................ 8
    1.1 Geological and Bio-Physical Factors ............................................................................................ 8
    1.2 Human factors ........................................................................................................................... 10
2. CURRENT LANDSCAPE SENSITIVITY................................................................................................... 14
    2.1 National Character Areas ........................................................................................................... 14
    2.2 Local Character Areas ................................................................................................................ 14
    2.3 Quality of Life Capital ................................................................................................................. 16
3. ENHANCEMENT POTENTIAL.............................................................................................................. 18
    3.1 Enhancement Potential Matrix .................................................................................................. 18
4. SPATIAL SUITABILITY OF LANDSCAPE ............................................................................................... 22
    4.1 Environment .............................................................................................................................. 23
         4.1.1 Topography ........................................................................................................................ 23
         4.1.2 Hydrology........................................................................................................................... 27
         4.1.3 Existing Land Cover and Use .............................................................................................. 31
         4.1.4 Conclusion from Environment Analysis ............................................................................. 35
    4.2 Economy .................................................................................................................................... 38
         4.2.1 Demographics .................................................................................................................... 38
         4.2.2 Job Creation Opportunities................................................................................................ 39
         4.2.3 Suitable Business Locations ............................................................................................... 46
    4.3 Infrastructure ............................................................................................................................. 47
         4.3.1 Public Transport ................................................................................................................. 47
         4.3.2 Key Services ....................................................................................................................... 48
    4.4 Conclusions ................................................................................................................................ 50
         4.4.1 Conclusion - Economy and Infrastructure Analysis ........................................................... 50
         4.4.2 Conclusion - Spatial Suitability Analysis ............................................................................. 52
5. CAPACITY FOR AN ECOTOWN .......................................................................................................... 54
    5.1 Conclusion – Suitable Land which also has Enhancement Potential ......................................... 54
    5.2 Environmental Impact Assessment ........................................................................................... 57

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         Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

         5.2.1 Description of development and size of land .................................................................... 57
         5.2.2 Location Criteria and Assessment of Effects ..................................................................... 58
6. LANDSCAPE STRATEGY & PLANNING FRAMEWORK ......................................................................... 62
    6.1 Vision.......................................................................................................................................... 62
    6.2 Strategy ...................................................................................................................................... 71
         6.2.1 Community Involvement ................................................................................................... 71
         6.2.2 Local skilled supply ............................................................................................................ 72
         6.2.3 Sustainable Finance – A Straw Man................................................................................... 73
    6.3 Ecotown Design Philosophy ....................................................................................................... 75
         6.3.1 Use Local materials ............................................................................................................ 76
         6.3.2 Self Build and Be Expressive .............................................................................................. 76
         6.3.3 Create Wholes ................................................................................................................... 77
         6.3.4 Create Sympathy with Nature ........................................................................................... 77
         6.3.5 Tell the Story (write the “Book”) ....................................................................................... 78
         6.3.5 Mix Uses............................................................................................................................. 79
         6.3.6 Most of All Build Well ........................................................................................................ 79
    6.4 Precedents ................................................................................................................................. 80
         6.4.1 Expanding Forests .............................................................................................................. 80
         6.4.2 Forest Towns (and Urban Forestry) ................................................................................... 80
         6.4.3 Sustainable Development (and Eco-homes)...................................................................... 82
APPENDICES .......................................................................................................................................... 86
BIBLIOGRAPHY .................................................................................................................................... 104




Richard Crooks                                                                                                                                  Page 3
        Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

0. INTRODUCTION
It is of vital importance to understand that “landscape”, whatever one’s definition, is
not fixed: geological and bio-physical processes cause relatively slow changes over
geological time; and since the last ice-age, human factors have caused significant
changes to the “natural” evolutionary order of things. From Heraclitus in ancient
Greece to Darwin and Disraeli in 19th century England, it has long been accepted that
the only thing that is constant in life is change.

This constant pressure for change has and continues to be a defining force in our
study area. Very rarely have landscapes been preserved or conserved, because the
pressures that created them also evolve over time: changing climate; changing
ownership; changing philosophies and politics; changing technologies; and changing
human needs and desires.

So preservation is often unsustainable and there is a constant search for
enhancement and creation of new landscapes that best respond to current (and
predicted) environmental drivers of change. This is equally true of our study area.



0.1 Report Objectives and Aims
The objective of this report is to produce a landscape strategy and planning
framework for the overall improvement of the study area: the Forest of Dean
District south of the A40.

A main aim is to identify locations within the study area with the most suitable
character and best capacity to absorb the forecast housing development need1 in the
most sustainable manner. Any housing development will be clearly linked to
increased economic provision2.

Accompanying aims will include the conservation, enhancement and development of
the natural environment, recreation, access to open space and local character or
distinctiveness.



0.2 Study Area
The study area is the southern triangle of the Forest of Dean district south of the A40
trunk road (See Map 0 – Study Area). The river Wye forms the western boundary,


1
    6,500 new houses by 2026
2
    From RSS10 (2006)

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      Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

whilst the river Severn forms both the eastern and southern boundaries to the point
of its confluence with the Wye.



0.3 Methodology
The author’s methodology used six steps and involved both field and desk survey:

1. It was necessary to first understand the evolution of the landscape to its current
   character. History makes a place and to understand how a place might change
   we need a good understanding of its history.

2. It is now accepted practice across the European Union to describe - in objective
   and standardised language - the current landscape character of an area. Such
   assessments identify the sensitivity of a landscape to change. A character
   assessment has already been performed for the study area (National Character
   Area 105). A local landscape character assessment (LCA) was also written in 2002
   with character areas defined and mapped. This work was used as a means to
   perform the subsequent landscape evaluation.

3. An evaluation of visual landscape character was then performed to identify the
   enhancement potential of the land, i.e. should it be: preserved or conserved;
   enhanced; or re-created. This was achieved using a “Quality of Life Capital”3
   analysis to create an “Enhancement Potential Matrix”. 4

4. Character assessments tend to focus on visual amenity and not capacity of the
   land for change – especially development. Therefore, a survey of spatial
   suitability for study area was conducted using Geographical Information System
   (GIS) called ARC GIS to overlay maps – call “sieve mapping” used by practitioners
   such as Ian McHarg5. This was performed under the following major headings:
   1. Environment
   2. Economy
   3. Infrastructure & Services




3
  Developed by RPA Chapman Warren
4
  Robert Wood and Joe Lavertz cite the matrix in ‘Recasting the urban fringe’, Landscape Design, Oct
2000, pp13-16)
5
  From “Design with Nature” (McHarg, 1969)

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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

5. The results of the spatial suitability survey were then compared with the areas
   with enhancement potentially to identify possible locations for sustainable
   development. The capacity of these locations to sustain an Eco-town was then
   evaluated. This was achieved through a cursory Environmental Impact
   Assessment (EIA) and with reference to Eco-town best practice.

6. Finally, the evaluation was synthesised into a spatial plan for the study area. This
   is based upon the premise: “maximum social benefit at the least social cost”
   where social means environmental, community and aesthetic aspects as well as
   pure economics. This plan comprises:

    1. Vision

    2. Philosophy

    3. Aims and Objectives

    4. Strategy (to achieve aims and objectives)

    5. Local Planning Principles (to support strategy)




                                      Richard Crooks, Gloucester University (December 2009)




Richard Crooks                                                                      Page 6
     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

Map 0 - The Study Area




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        Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

1. EVOLUTION OF THE LANDSCAPE
AS with the vast majority of space across our planet, a complex mixture of geological,
bio-physical and then human factors have caused the landscape of the area to evolve
its current character.



1.1 Geological and Bio-Physical Factors
Very simply the study area comprises three major rock layers (See Figure 1).
Carboniferous limestone was laid over old Devonian red sandstone. These two hard
layers were compressed in an east-west direction to form a steep-sided plateau and
a basin (syncline). This oval shaped basin was later in-filled with a softer layer of coal
measures (including shale and sandstone).




Figure 1 - Major rock layers:6

The river Wye formed a steep-sided narrow valley in the west. The river Severn
formed a gentle low-lying plain to the east, along which the solid sandstone was
covered by the thick drift deposits of alluvium and river terrace deposits. [See Map 1
– Geology] The central part consists mainly of the undulating plateau, which has
been deeply dissected by rivers, creating a varied topography.

After the ice-age around 8,500 BC, the Severn would have widened and the area
would have been covered in thick woodland of oak and lime in the uplands and birch
along the rivers.       It is largely due to human factors that the study area does not
remain like this today.




6
    Image source: http://www.glosgeotrust.org.uk/fod_geology.shtml.

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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

Map 1 - Geology




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        Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework




                               Thick broadleaf woodland (Wye Valley)



1.2 Human factors
The spatial distribution of natural resources (coal, iron, water power, building stone
and timber) across the study area has influenced the development and distribution
of industry and settlement7.

Little evidence exists either of Mesolithic hunter gathering or later Neolithic
agrarians (although the latter would probably have created more permanent
clearings in the woodland.) During the Iron Age and through Roman times, local iron
ore and charcoal were used to make iron. The woodland is likely to have fluctuated
in size in accordance with the iron industry.

The Normans created the Royal Forest in the 13th century as a grand hunting lodge.
At this point the central woodland was protected with settlement limited to the
margins near the iron-ore deposits. It is this fingerprint of these events that remains
most evident today.

Iron ore continued to be exploited up to the 18th century. Mills and forges were built
using the water power of the small rivers. Coal was mined on a small scale, close to


7
    Landscape Character Assessment (Nov 2002)

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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

the surface - easily accessible under steeply undulating rocks - by one man or one
family.

Timber remained a key resource and began to be felled indiscriminately for charcoal
fuel, pit props and ship building. An Act of Parliament in the 17th century resulted in
enclosing of 11,000 acres to regenerate with many iron ore mines being demolished.
Trees for ship-building were also replanted in response to the Napoleonic wars and
ongoing conflict with squatters led to further Acts in the early 19th century. The
situation only calmed when freeholds were granted to the squatters in 1838. The
new freeholders were responsible for building the grey and red sandstone cottages
around the fringe of the forest core.

In the 19th century, and against the backdrop of the woodland, the major
settlements - Cinderford, Coleford, Parkend and Mitcheldean – developed through
varied related industries such as coal, iron, quarrying, lime making, tin plate,
machine, engineering, brick-making, wire works and tanning. Shipbuilding occurred
along the Severn. The Act of 1838 also consolidated the coal mines and with the new
tram-roads, this enabled a major expansion of that industry. By 1880, 63 collieries
were producing 800,000 tons of coal, increasing to one million tons in 1904, when
deeper seams were exploited.




                           Railway at Park End towards Lydney




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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

WWI reinforced the need for home grown timber and in 1919 the Forestry
Commission took over the management of the core Forest from the Crown estate. A
further spate of replanting followed, with the central area designated a National
Forest Park in 1940.

Following WWII there was economic hardship including a sharp decline in coal
production. The government demanded greater returns from the forest and
coniferisation began to change the appearance of the forest. In 1971, due to
pressure from local residents, the mix of conifer planting was limited to 55%.




                            Conifer plantation (Wye Valley)

The last big pit closed in 1965 along with a cable manufacturer. There was large
scale unemployment in the study area. The government also sponsored Land
Settlement schemes but the success of these small-holdings was mixed through a soil
quality, proximity to markets and experience of the new small-holders. The local
Development Association encouraged expansion of existing factories, especially Rank
Xerox at Mitcheldean. Recently, the local economy is under renewed pressure with
the reduction in many manufacturing jobs. The workforce at Rank Xerox workforce,
for example, has reduced from 4,000 to barely 50.




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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework




                        Industrial estate on the forest edge (Cinderford)

Leisure and tourism are playing an increasing role in the economy of the study area.
The forest is now managed for recreation as well as timber production with picnic
sites and walking and cycling trails.




                 Old tram road becomes new public cycle way (Lyd valley)




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          Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

2. CURRENT LANDSCAPE SENSITIVITY
So what is the current snapshot in time of this long evolutionary process of the study
area?



2.1 National Character Areas
The study area forms part Natural England’s National Character Area 105 – “Forest of
Dean and Lower Wye”8. The report of this JCA states that the key characteristics of
the area are:

       “A well-wooded plateau of ridges and valleys, contained by outer rim of more
        open landscape on limestone and sandstone ridges

       Small-scale varied industry and industrial artefacts intermixed with
        settlements and large broadleaved and coniferous woodlands

       A strong sense of identity through being remote and self-contained

          Ever-present evidence of history, with artefacts and elements from many
           historic periods still visible

           Scattered and sprawling settlements and small holdings retaining the feel of
           clearances from the forest

          Mixed building materials and sporadic development give amorphous and
           disorganised feel to settlements”.


2.2 Local Character Areas
In 2002, Natural England (then the Countryside Agency) in partnership with
Gloucestershire County Council and the Forest of Dean District Council (FoDDC)
appointed Landscape Design Associated (LDA) to carry out a full landscape character
assessment of the FoD district, including the area north of the A40 9.

The lengthy report records in detail 15 specific landscape character types divided
into 42 landscape character areas. Their distribution across the study area is shown
in Map 2 – Landscape Character Types and Areas.
8

http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/landscape/englands/character/areas/forest_of_dean_a
nd_lower_wye.aspx
9
    Landscape Character Assessment – Forest Of Dean District (LDA, 2002)

Richard Crooks                                                                      Page 14
     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

Map 2 – Landscape Character Types and Areas




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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

2.3 Quality of Life Capital
The “Quality of Life Capital” is a method devised by RPS Chapman Warren (and
adapted by the author) to identify the sensitivity of the landscape to change. The
character areas are divided into specific elements for valuation.

The list of element types chosen by the author is shown in Appendix 1 – Q of LC Base
Data. The aim was to place a more objective value (shown in “()”) on each feature:
    Scale of importance          [national (3), regional (2), district (1)]
    Level of importance          [high (3), medium (2), low (1)]
    Substitutability             [no (2), yes (1)]
    “Enoughness“                 [no (2), yes (1)]

For example, a feature of high (3), national (3) importance that is rare (2) and cannot
be substituted (2) would score a maximum 36 (3*3*2*2). A common and
substitutable feature of low importance within the district would score the minimum
of 1. This process is subjective in the sense that reader may choose different
features and deem them to have different values. However, the process is
transparent and can be challenged by the reader.

The individual feature scores were then totalled by the existing character areas. This
provided a total character score for each character area. The results of the ten
character areas lying within the study area are shown in Appendix 2 –Area Character
Scores and summarised as in Table 1 – Area Summary Scores below.




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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

Table 1 – Area Summary Scores
                                                         Sensitivity
Character Area (Number and Name)                           Score
1. Wooded Valleys (The Wye Valley)                               171
7. Drained Riverine Farmland and Grazed Salt Marsh                 90
8. Littoral Sands and Rock Outcrops                                86
3. Limestone Plateau                                               82
5. Wooded Syncline and Settled Forest Margin                       80
6. Un-wooded Vale                                                  75
2. Limestone Hills                                                 74
9. Undulating Farmland                                             52
4. Wooded Scarp and Lower Scarp Slopes                             44
1. Ridges and Valleys                                              39




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          Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

3. ENHANCEMENT POTENTIAL
It was essential for this report not simply to repeat descriptive information from
existing landscape character assessments. Instead the data was used as a basis for
analysis with a view to landscape enhancement potential: preservation, conservation
or development through enhancement or re-creation.



3.1 Enhancement Potential Matrix
The Enhancement Potential Matrix is one of several tools available to assist the
development of landscape planning objectives. Like many other areas of the UK, any
development within the study area raises specific planning issues. In particular,
there is a known need to balance acute housing development pressures against the
general interest in preserving the character and quality of green open spaces and
designated sites such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The matrix was designed to assess the potential of landscapes on the “urban fringe”.
The author feels that much of the study area falls within such a description. Robert
Wood and Joe Lavertz10 explain that the approach focuses on the following
objectives:

          Conservation (of high landscape quality/features/amenity)
          Maintenance (of current landscape management)
          Restoration (in culturally/historically important areas)
          Enhancement (where recent changes have undermined features)
          Change (addressing intense damage through remediation and reclamation)

The enhancement potential of character area has two dimensions as shown in Figure
2 – Enhancement Potential Actions below:

       Character (strong, moderate, weak)
       Condition (good, declining, poor)




10
     They cite the matrix in “Recasting the urban fringe” (Landscape Design, Oct 2000, pp13-16)

Richard Crooks                                                                                Page 18
     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

Figure 2 – Enhancement Potential Actions




The matrix was applied to each of the 10 character areas within the study area.
Results from the Quality of Life Capital were used to determine character “strength”.
Character “condition” was assessed on a slightly more subjective manner. This was
achieved through site visits and through comments in the LCA, such as hedgerows
being “poorly maintained and gappy” and pastureland “often rushy with an
abandoned feel “.

The results are in Figure 3 – Development Opportunities below. The findings suggest
there is high potential to:




Richard Crooks                                                                Page 19
     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

Figure 3 – Enhancement Potential Actions: LCA Number. LCA Name (Character Score)




   a) Create new landscape in area 10 (the ridges and valleys forming the eastern
      boundary of the core forest from Mitcheldean in the north down to Lydney via
      Littledean and Blakeney) where character is relatively weak and condition
      relatively poor.

   b) Restore landscape in area 7 (the drained riverine farmland and grazed salt
      marsh bordering the river Severn) where the condition is relatively poor
      despite the strong character of the important wetland habitat.

   c) Strengthen landscape in area 4 (the wooded scarp west of Lydney) and area 9
      (the undulating farmland south of the A48 between Lydney and Blakeney),
      which - whilst in good condition - lack character.


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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework




                        Page left intentionally blank




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         Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

4. SPATIAL SUITABILITY OF LANDSCAPE
Defining enhancement potential tended to focus on visual amenity. This report must
deal specifically with the need for housing development and the suitability of land to
cope with that change. For that reason, a spatial suitability survey was conducted to
determine the spaces most and least suited for development. This was done under
the following headings:

     1. Environment
     2. Economy
     3. Infrastructure & Services

Rather than simply repeating descriptive LCA content, the author has created some
best-practice “rules” for sustainable urban development (called “Policy Statements”).
These rules have been informed by current Government and Landscape Institute (LI)
policy documents, but mostly through understanding leading landscape authors11.

Each set of “Planning Principles” has been applied to plans of the study area using a
Geographical Information System called ARC GIS. This has identified spatial areas
best suited development with the following criteria:

         Larger scale
         Higher density
         Mixed use
         Carbon-neutral
         Accessible

The next step will be to overlay the plans in ARC GIS to obtain a composite view of
the most suitable or least desirable locations for such development.




11
  Ian McHarg (Design With Nature, 1969 and 1992); Stephen Owen (Planning Settlements Naturally,
1991); Michael Hough (Cities and Natural Processes, 1995 and 2006); Paul Selman (Planning at the
Landscape Scale, 2006)



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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

4.1 Environment
One of the four objectives in PPS1 – Delivering Sustainable Development - is
“effective protection of the environment”. In particular, this strategy must protect
and enhance the natural and historic environment, the quality and character of the
countryside, and existing communities.

This desk-based survey aims to achieve that by surveying and analysing:

    Topography (including geology)
    Hydrology
    Existing land-cover and use



4.1.1 Topography
The study area has varied topology but some slopes, aspects and geology are better
suited to sustainable mixed urban development than others.

Planning Principles

 Development is favoured on land:

     Slope: With gradients no greater than 1:12 (0 to ~ 10%)

     Aspect: With aspect within 45o of due south

     Wind: Oriented south-westerly, with un-wooded land to its south-west and
      above air drainage basins

     Drainage: With good internal drainage and relatively low water table

     Foundation: With good bearing capacity


Slope
A slope of 0-10% is an optimal compromise. The gradient is flat enough to provide
maximum accessibility and to avoid deforming and costly cut and fill. It is also steep
enough to aid passive solar gain and avoid overshadowing (subject to aspect below)
and to allow views to be opened up. Appendix 3 – Slope maps all land in the study
are with such a gradient




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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework


Aspect
An aspect of within 20o of due south will help maximise passive solar gain and to so
enable buildings to be carbon neutral. Whereas buildings, PV cells and solar panels
can be oriented southwards irrespective of land aspect, the geo-thermal potential of
the ground (e.g. through air-to-air or ground source heat pumps) is maximised by
such a general orientation. Given the north-south inclination of the underlying
geology, there are relatively few locations with such aspect. Appendix 4 – Aspect
maps all land within the study area within 45 degrees of south.

Wind
Wind provides both opportunities (energy potential and ventilation in summer) and
threats (heat loss, especially in winter). In general wind-rose analysis in the UK shows
that the prevailing and warmer winds are south-westerly, with colder winds being
from the north-east. A situation relatively exposed to prevailing south-westerly
winds offers the best compromise: most energy potential; most summer ventilation;
and most shelter from cold winter winds; whilst being subject to some negative
exposure or wind-chill effects in winter. As wooded land tends to reduce wind-
speed, situations with un-wooded land to the south-west would offer better wind
energy potential.

Further, to avoid the katabatic effect of cold air drainage, situations away from cold-
air basins - and therefore potential frost pockets - are desirable.

Drainage
Engineering solutions can be found to lower water tables and drain surface water.
However, these can be environmentally disruptive to natural hydrology and nutrient
flow and ultimately less affordable. It is much preferable to avoid development in
areas known to be or historically have been boggy or marshy (Historic situations may
recur without continued expensive human interventions.)

Foundation
To avoid the need for excessive foundations and so to increase affordability,
development is preferable on foundations with good load-bearing capacity.

    Rock: The older and harder sandstone and carboniferous limestone are
     preferable to younger and softer coals, shale and clays, which may be prone
     to subsidence.




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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

    Soils: The higher the particle size the better in the following order of
     preference: gravel; sand; loam; silt; clay. The preference is increased by the
     erosion risk posed by small particle sizes laying on inclinations.        Any
     marshland is clearly going to have poor load bearing capacity. Appendix 3 –
     Marshland shows this type of area on the map

Conclusion from Topography
Map 4.1 – Aspect and Slope (avoiding marsh) shows a merger of the aspect and
gradient analysis (Appendices 3 and 4) When these two map layers are overlaid the
green areas represent those that meet both criteria (with olive green representing
those areas facing due south). The areas of coastal and floodplain grazing marsh have
been removed (greyed out) to avoid development on land with poor drainage and
foundations.




            Gentle slope of southerly aspect good for passive solar gain (Yorkley Court)




Richard Crooks                                                                             Page 25
     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

Map 4.1 – Aspect and Slope (avoiding marsh)




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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

4.1.2 Hydrology
Water systems form key elements of the green infrastructure that must be
protected for the well-being of ecosystems and therefore human inhabitants.
The water systems of the study area are described in Appendix 6 – Hydrology.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the rivers within the study
area have above average biological and chemical water quality.
Planning Principles

 Development is favoured on land:

     Flood risk: Free from 1 in 100 year flood risk

     Aquifers: Away from EA Groundwater Source Protection Zones

     Blue corridors: 500m away from riparian habitat


Flood Risk
No development (whether housing, other public buildings or infrastructure) is
necessary and therefore will not be sited within Flood Zone 1 – the lowest risk per
PP25 sequential risk assessment. Halcrow have produced a strategic flood risk
assessment for FoDDC and the areas they have identified as Flood Zone 1 have been
mapped and avoided.

Ideally, no development will be sited in the upstream catchment of existing
settlements, unless it can be shown that the new development will be able to
attenuate all rainwater and so not increase the existing downstream flood risk.

Aquifers
Groundwater provides much of the drinking water (as well as maintaining the flow in
many rivers.) To protect these sources from pollution so ensuring water is
completely safe to drink, Groundwater Source Protection Zones (GSPZs) - such as
wells, boreholes and springs - have been identified and mapped by the Environment
Agency. There will be no development within either their inner or outer zones.

The GSPZs are situated near the Jurassic Limestone Aquifer and require attenuated
storage of runoff to prevent infiltration and contamination. Seven GSPZ Inner Zones
have been identified by the EA in the Forest of Dean District and they have been
mapped and avoided.



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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

Blue Corridors
A “blue corridor” is the whole connected parts of a hydrological system both above
and below ground. Its integrity, i.e. quality and connectedness, is of vital importance
for plant and animal ecology through habitat sustainability, e.g. by nutrient flow. The
riparian belt – the interface between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems - is
particularly important for biodiversity. Quality waterside green infrastructure is also
essential for human quality of life and well-being. For that reason preferably no
development will take place within a “buffer zone” – say 500m - of any hydrological
component. No engineering works will be allowed on water-courses, save to remove
existing works and return the hydrological system to its natural processes and
rhythms. Any opportunity to reconnect fragmented riparian habitat will be
prioritised.

Conclusion from Hydrology
Map 4.2 – Rivers, Flood Risk and GSPZ shows the main rivers, their flood zones and
the aquifer recharge points (GSPZ).

Map 4.3 – Favoured Topology Avoiding Hydrology shows a merger of maps 4.1 and
4.2 showing where favoured land that would not be considered because of its
proximity to these important hydrological features.




            Canalisation of riparian zone (Lydney) - will be avoided in new development




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Map 4.2 – Rivers, Flood Risk and GSPZ




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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

Map 4.3 – Topography avoiding hydrology




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4.1.3 Existing Land Cover and Use
The LI Position Paper on Green Infrastructure (GI) states that “approaches to land-
use planning [should] promote the widest range of functions which can be
performed by the same asset, unlocking the greatest number of benefits. Such an
approach enables us to demand more from the land in a sustainable way.”


Planning Principles

 Development is favoured on land:

     Agriculture: Not of top agricultural grade (1 and 2)

     Designations: Away from buffered sites of known special bio-diversity

     Woodland: Not currently wooded and away from ancient hedgerows


Agriculture
Away from the woodland, agriculture - primarily dairying with some livestock rearing
- is the main land use in the study area. Holdings are generally small and field sizes
variable, from small to medium. These fields support also support market gardening
and horse grazing, often on a part-time basis, i.e. as “life-style” farms. Diverse land-
use and self-sufficiency is to be encouraged.

In some places, fields are small and irregular, bounded by large hedges and accessed
by a network of tiny winding hedge-lined lanes. Hedges are key pieces of GI - many
being ancient - and they should be conserved and restored through better
management.

Steeply-inclined ground is not well suited to intense arable farming, so arable is the
main land use on more level ground with better draining soils. Parts of the
undulating limestone hills (LCA 2) and the limestone plateau (LCA 3) support well-
drained loamy soil (called “Crwbin”), which is slightly acidic, but base-rich with high
natural soil fertility. But, as “Crwbin” soils are free-draining they pose a high risk of
leeching of fertilisers with associated risk of groundwater pollution. Appendix 7 –
Soil shows Crwbin (as “313c”) along with all other soil types.

However, Appendix 8 – Agricultural Land Classification shows the top three grades
(1-3) of agricultural land in the study area. It can be seen – by overlaying with the
soils - that Crwbin is predominantly Grade 3 land, and so we will not exclude this
from potential development.

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                 Grade 3 agricultural land – mixed arable and pasture (near Blaisdon)

Biodiversity & Land Designations
The distribution of wildlife habitats is determined by the nature of the underlying
geology, landform and past land-use patterns. The importance of wildlife resource in
the study area is reflected in the large number of designated sites from county to
international importance. These are described in Figure 4 – Land Designations. A full
list of bio-habitat designation is shown in Appendix 9 – Biodiversity and Land
Designations

Woodland
The core forest of the central plateau (approximately 35 square miles) is managed by
the Forestry Commission. Along with other areas such as the Wye valley, woodland
is the study area’s most valuable asset – It is of national importance. Woodland is
the study area’s brand. Appendix 10 – Ancient Woodland shows the current extent
of this asset.

The ongoing integrity and quality of this piece of GI is vital for:

       economic productivity, e.g. tourism, timber production and energy security
       safeguarding and encouraging biodiversity
       public health and wellbeing
       ongoing social cohesion
       climate change mitigation, i.e. as local heat absorber and carbon sink

For these reasons, woodland should be conserved and protected from further
encroachment. The core forest is already surrounded by an almost continuous collar
of settlement. If woodland is to be encorached, ways must be investigated as to how
this collar might be breached so that the forest can spill outwards and connect with
other afforested islands: the Wye valley (LCA 1); the wooded scarp (LCA 4); and the
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wooded hills (LCA 11). For every tree removed, two should be planted and in a place
connected to the core.

Further, the condition of the all woodland should be improved. Extensive
plantations of conifers – larch, spruce, Scots pine, Corsican pine and Douglas fir –
have been planted during the 20th century and 52% of the central forest is now
planted with non-native conifer species. The replanting of ancient woodlands with
conifers has halted since the introduction of the Forestry Commission Broadleaf
Policy in 1985 (South West Biodiversity Action Plan, 1997). This trend should be
continued with all woodland reverting to a more semi-natural state using traditional
management regimes favourable for diverse habitat, e.g. deer management and
coppicing.




          Forestry Commission plantation (Ruardean) showing concentration of conifers




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Figure 4 – Land Designations

 Level           Designation Type                                               Within Study Area
 International    Ramsar                                                        Severn Estuary
                       Conservation and wise use of wetlands

 European         Special Protected Area (SPA)                                  Severn Estuary
                      From Article 4 of EC Birds Directive                       Walmore Common

                  Special Area of Conservation (SAC)                              Severn Estuary
                      From Article 3 of the EC Habitats Directive                  Wye Valley Woodlands
                                                                                   Wye Valley & Forest of Dean Bat Sites
                                                                                   River Wye

 National         AONB                                                          Wye Valley

                  English Nature Natural Area              with   associated    Numerous (estuaries & salt-marsh; rivers & streams; standing open
                   Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP)                                 water; wet grassland; species rich grasslands; farmland; ancient
                                                                                  hedgerows; woodland; wood pasture park & veteran trees; lowland
                                                                                  heathland; limestone pavement; old orchards; industrial spoil habitats)

                                                                                 Numerous
                  Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
 County           Key Wildlife Site (KWS)                                       Numerous




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Eco-town Policy ET 16.2 of PPS1 sates that, for European designations, “if after
completing an appropriate assessment of a plan or project local planning authorities
are unable to conclude that there will be no adverse effects on the integrity of any
European sites, the plan or project will not be approved.” So, in general, no
development will occur in or near Ramsar, SPA and SAC sites.

If previous analysis suggests that development would be beneficial in a particular
location, then a more detailed analysis of any nearby SSSI12 or KWS will be
undertaken. This will ensure that:

a) There is sufficient buffer zone (preferably with an increase in island size);

b) The meta-population of target species will not be further fragmented (preferably
   with an increased level of island connectivity.)

In general, a more joined up ecological analysis of species’ meta-populations is
required, rather than simple conservation or preservation of individual “islands”.



Conclusion from Land Covers and use
Map 4.4 – Land Cover and Use shows the results from overlaying three layers:
Ancient woodland; Grade 1 and 2 agricultural soils and; designated areas. The white
areas would be suitable for development.



4.1.4 Conclusion from Environment Analysis
Map 4.5 – Summary Environment Analysis shows the clusters remaining from the
previous hydrological analysis. There are three locations (Site A, B and C) most
suitable for development, based upon an environmental analysis. Site D is located in
ancient woodland, but this is Forestry Commission plantation and the land is not
designated. Its enhancement potential through development is not ruled out.

Site E is ruled out as it is within a European SAR and SAC.

The four sites (A-D) will now be assessed in terms of their suitability regarding
economic factors and existing infrastructure/services.




12
  The ONS states that 91 % area of land designated as a SSSI within the local authority area is found to be in
favourable condition. This is well above the national average of 48%

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Map 4.4 – Land Cover and Use




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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

Map 4.5 – Summary Environment Analysis




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4.2 Economy
PPS1 – Delivering Sustainable Development – aims to ensure that development
provides good access to jobs for all members of the community. The draft RSS10 for
the South West states that “further housing development should be clearly linked to
increased economic provision.” PPS1 Eco-Town (ET) policy 10.1, states that “plans
for eco-towns must set out facilities to support job creation in the town and as a
minimum there should be access to one [net new13] employment opportunity per
new dwelling.14”

In short, development without local job creation is un-sustainable. This raises three
questions:

     1. What are current economic demographics?

     2. What business could be encouraged to move to or expand within the study
        area to create local jobs?

     3. What type of location would these businesses require to continue to be
        successful employers?


4.2.1 Demographics
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes demographics data by
“neighbourhood” (much of which is taken from the 2001 Census). The results from
the Forest of Dean (including the area north of the A40) are shown in Appendix 11 –
Social Data. Other data for the area has been sourced from FoDDC15. The summary
issues to be addressed are:

      Unemployment is above average (and the number unemployed for more than
       one year is also above average)

      Number of businesses is below average and there are only 0.59 local jobs for
       each person of working age. 40% (16,000) of economically active people leave
       the area for work16



13
    There is little point simply moving existing employment to the new development from beggared
neighbouring settlements within the study area or out-with.
14
   “...that is easily reached by walking, cycling and/or public transport.”
15
   Employment and Tourism, Issues and Options
16
   4,000 workers commute in, so the net out-flux is 12,000

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    Manufacturing jobs are above average. Average earnings within the study
     area are below average. Tourism employs 2,000 directly and a further 400
     indirectly

    Population is increasing (5.4% in 10 years to 2001) and is forecast to continue

According to RSS10, “in *the three forest+ towns, there has been a considerable scale
of housing development but this has not been matched by local job creation. A key
issue to address in the Forest of Dean LDD is that of stimulating economic activity,
increasing the opportunity for people to live and work in close proximity. Higher
levels of self-containment, a reduction in dependencies with Gloucester and
increased provision of services and facilities in the immediate locality will move
towards a more sustainable community.”




                 Further housing development must be matched by job creation



4.2.2 Job Creation Opportunities
To encourage job creation in general, local economic policy must:

   1.   Leverage inherent local strengths for competitive advantage
   2.   Retain value-add within the study area
   3.   Increase local productivity and competitiveness
   4.   Respond to an increasingly knowledge-based economy

The author has reviewed the economic strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities
(O) and threats (T) of the historic and current economy of the study area.



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                           Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

     Figure 5 – Economic SWOT Analysis:




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The SWOT information was partly based on information gained from a group
interview with the FODDC at Coleford in September 2009. The results are shown in
Figure 5 – Economic SWOT Analysis.

Suggestions for sustainable local economic diversification and growth are
summarised below:

Help businesses increase productivity
The local manufacturing skills base is strong. A list of current industries in the study
area is shown in Appendix 12 – Current Skills Base. Continued outsourcing and off-
shoring to cheaper locations, however, continues to be a threat to local industry
where jobs are being lost, irrespective of the recession of 2008-9.

Local businesses need to be more productive – i.e. achieving more with less – to
remain competitive. This may mean:

      Newer facilities such as one business parks Mitcheldean, Cinderford (LCA 10)
       and Lydney (LCA 9 / 10) which are close to communications links.

      Diversifying and improving skills, through higher education to NVQ4 or
       equivalent level. The ONS states that 19.5% of the working age population
       are qualified to NVQ2 and above, which is above the average of 16.3%).
       However, at NVQ4 level the study area is below average (21.4% versus
       26.9%).

      Implementing super high speed broadband throughout the study area

      Providing cash incentives to encourage inward investment, e.g. through
       reduced business rates and/or subsidised apprenticeships (or “work for
       benefits”) - to help competition against cheaper foreign labour.17 The author
       believes that it is more sustainable socially and culturally for a community to
       pay for jobs than to pay for welfare.




17
  There is precedent for this as Xerox was presumably enticed to the area to fill the gap left by the coal mining
industry (tbc)

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           Newer industrial facilities already exist close to communication links (Cinderford)



Encourage Creative Industries
The Core Strategy acknowledges that knowledge drives successful businesses and
that encouraging a culture of innovation and better links to research ideas is
important. The RES highlights “creative industries – especially digital media”, as a
small but growing industry which plays on the natural advantages of the region. The
study area also has good credentials as being an outdoor location for drama and film
production. The Core Forest could become a permanent film set. A link to a
university or college with world renown for digital media and arts could be beneficial.

Encourage Flagship Retail
A key element of a sustainable community is that any value-add is retained18. At
present, most retained earnings are lost as commuters spend money at their places
of work and shoppers spend money in other retail centres19.

Out-commuting is a real issue as much of the potential for future economic growth in
the South West is concentrated in the region’s cities and larger towns. In fact, the
draft RSS10 almost makes this a policy. To prevent the study area becoming an
unsustainable suburb or dormitory town20, it needs to create local higher-paid,
white-collar jobs.



18
   Being self-sustaining in energy is one example of this, where large fuel bills are not paid to external
companies.
19
   The author could argued that to change this dynamic would be to “beggar thy neighbour” i.e. if Monmouth,
say, was to suffer a retail collapse as a result. This is a problem caused by making artificial political boundaries
for analysis.
20
   60% of workers already leave the study area to work

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It also needs to offer places where these workers will spend their money. Some of
these jobs could be retail-based. This offers the added advantage that more
shopping money remains in the study area. Conversation with residents suggests
that high-street brands common to many other towns are missing from the study
area and would be warmly welcomed. Seducing a flagship brand into the study area
could create a cascade effect.




             Many shoppers spend their money outside study area towns (Cinderford)

Diversify Agriculture
PPS7 – Sustainable Development in Rural Areas – aims to promote sustainable,
diverse and adaptable agriculture sectors. Farming would contribute both directly
and indirectly to rural economic diversity and provide high quality products that the
public wants.

Away from the woodland, dairying with some livestock rearing, horse grazing and
market gardening is the main land use. Holdings are generally small and field sizes
variable, from small to medium. The small holdings are often “life-style” farms and
this suggests that the land is not being used as efficiently as it might be and more
jobs could be created through more intensive, organic horticulture for local markets.

Elsewhere on the limestone plateau south of Coleford (LCA 3), on better draining
soils, arable is the main land use and the fields are medium-sized. This is also the
case in the undulating limestone area to the north (LCA 2). Perhaps encouraging the
replacement of mono-cultural prairies with poly-culture might increase production of
produce for local markets as well as creating local jobs (whilst increasing
biodiversity.)



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                    Is agricultural land being most efficiently utilised now? (Westbury)


Develop Eco-Hotels
The main strength and asset of the study area is the landscape itself. It is a resource
for tourism, construction and energy. Tourism does not currently generate many
jobs. Worse, most tourists are only day-trippers and spend on average only £50 per
head per day on a visit. This may be due to there being few places offering quality
accommodation. Establishment of one or more eco-hotels would be a priority.

Buy and run the core forest as a community business
The Forestry Commission is a national agency and although it provides local
employment, it may not necessarily be being run for the local community. Any
profits may also be removed elsewhere, whereas a key goal of sustainable
communities is to retain value-add within the community. A local group should be
established to buy the forest. The group would comprise: nature conservationists
(who would designate land as necessary); bio-fuel developers; foresters; game-
keepers; nature tourist guides etc. The forest would return to being a better-utilised
part of the cultural landscape.

Establish eco-construction centre of excellence
By 2016 all new buildings must be 6-star rated21 which includes being carbon-neutral.
A policy will be set out in the “Design and Access Statement” that all:

           a) New buildings must achieve 6-star rating before 2016

           b) Building materials must be sourced from local supplies of sandstone, brick,
              oak or spruce.


21
     Per The Code for Sustainable Homes

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There is an opportunity to re-train local manufacturing workers in sustainable
building techniques. All dwellings would ideally be self-built using local craftsmen
(per the Arts and Crafts movement of the mid 19th century.) These skills would be
invaluable for later use and export.

Establish community Power Company
Being self-sufficient in energy means local jobs are required to supply community
energy. Wind generation and PV cells may meet most of the electricity demand, but
the remainder could come from combined heat and power (CHP) plants. CHP would
use biomass such as local willow coppice, reed and agricultural waste. Heat could
also be used for horticulture and market gardening, which may gain in
competitiveness if and when an oil-crunch materialises. It may be appropriate to
extend the core forest to increase the amount of biomass available, whist
simultaneously increasing nationally important habitat.

The river Severn has been an historic site of power stations, e.g. at Oldbury. A new
nuclear power station at Oldbury (using river water for cooling) has recently been
given the go-ahead by Government. This will provide an opportunity for job creation
(despite the risk of pollution to this Ramsar, SAC, SAR and SSSI), but cannot be a
driver of sustainable change within the study area.

Finally, wave and tidal power is a longer term option for large scale generation but,
according to the Severn Wye Energy Agency, is unlikely to be utilised in
Gloucestershire (again for reasons of habitat preservation). There is scope for small
scale hydro-schemes including in the Forest of Dean.




    Would national Forestry Commission land be better utilised as a local community business?




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4.2.3 Suitable Business Locations
On the assumption that the business strategy above is favoured following critical
review, where would these businesses best be located for success in the long term?

Policy Statements:

 Development is favoured on land:

         Productivity:

                 o Within 1,000m of major trunk road and/or 2,000m of a motorway
                   (with proven future carrying capacity)

                 o Within sustainable access (2,000m) of existing large settlements (for
                   sharing) and/or existing modern manufacturing facilities (LCA 9, 10)

         Innovation: Proximal to the Core Forest (LCA 5)22



Productivity
Appendix 13 – Productivity shows land in the study area that is within 1km of A-roads
and/or 2km of a motorway. There is no land that is within 2km of a motorway.

The appendix also shows land within sustainable access (i.e. 2km) of either existing
manufacturing or planned new employment development at Cinderford, Lydney,
Coleford and Mitcheldean.

Innovation
Appendix 14 – Innovation (woodland) shows woodland areas within the study area
that are not designated land, i.e. belong to the Forestry Commission.




22
     As these are locations most suited to eco-hotels, CHP production, forestry jobs and possible film sets

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4.3 Infrastructure
PPS1 – Delivering Sustainable Development – aims to ensure that development
provides good access to jobs and key services for all members of the community.

In particular, PPS 1 policy ET 11.1 and PPG13 – Transport, emphasis that
development should reduce reliance on private cars to access jobs and services.
RSS10 states that transport remains one of the top priorities for businesses in the
region. Congestion in urban areas, rural access and rapid and reliable connections to
national and international markets are key concerns.

This desk-based survey aims to achieve that by surveying and analysing:

    Public transport
    Location of key services (education, health, employment, retail)
    Energy and waste

Planning Principles

 Development is favoured on land:

    Access: Where there is clear capacity for public transport links to all key nodes

    Re-use: Already used as a communications route (where carrying capacity can
       be commenced or increased)



4.3.1 Public Transport
The RSS10 and Core Strategy highlight that the three existing towns are not very self
contained, but operate as a local network (and with a reasonably strong relationship
with Gloucester.) There is a well-established, if complex, local commuting pattern in
place. Future growth could be expected to reinforce this tight local network.

Access
According to the ONS, the first priority for residents of the study area is
improvement of roads and pavements. The second priority is improvement in public
transport. 73.8% travel to work by private motor vehicle (above the national average
of 65%), whilst only 3% use public transport (well below the average of 11 %.) Over
half of local residents think that public transport has improved (but not as much as
residents elsewhere in the country). The perception of congestion in the study area is
that it is bad.


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Unlike the primary location drivers (topography, hydrology, ancient habitats and
existing major infrastructure), public transport is a secondary factor. This is because
- assuming there is route-infrastructure – services can be continued, changed,
removed or enhanced. The key driver is that the selected location (or “node”) offers
maximum connectivity to existing key nodes. The development of an eco-town
should be used as a catalyst for connectivity improvements (which should be a
condition of development.)

Re-Use
Transport routes can fragment fragile ecosystems and render them unsustainable
habitats. For that reason, all efforts should be focused on re-use of existing routes,
through forms of increases in carrying capacity. For example, two tiers of transport
could use the same footprint, e.g. monorails above roads, cable cars along road-sides
etc.

The river Severn has historically been used as a transport link between the study
area, Bristol (20NM) and Gloucester (50NM).

Appendix 15 – Railways shows present railways along with the historic lines opened
up to serve the coal mines and now largely disused (save for tourism).




             Old tram roads are used now solely for tourism, not local public transport

4.3.2 Key Services
Notwithstanding provision of sustainable public transport, RSS10 states that a wide
range of shopping, cultural, religious and faith, educational and health public services
needs to be provided to meet the needs of a settlement and the surrounding area.

Further, ET 11.1 states that homes should be within ten minutes’ walk of
neighbourhood services. ET 13.1 states that “building sustainable communities is

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about providing facilities which contribute to the well-being, enjoyment and health
of people. Planning applications should include a good level of provision of services
within the eco-town that is proportionate to the size of the development. This should
include: leisure; health and social care; education; retail; arts and culture; library
services; sport and play facilities; community and voluntary sector facilities.

Rather than mapping the potential sites proximity to existing facilities, the ethos of
eco-town development - of between 5,000 and 6,500 houses - is that new facilities
will be integral to and a condition of that development.




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4.4 Conclusions

4.4.1 Conclusion - Economy and Infrastructure Analysis
Map 4.6 – Summary Economy and Infrastructure Analysis shows a summary of the
most favoured land – the darker green - from the perspectives of a sustainable
economy. The darker green area meets more than one criterion regarding proximity
to A-roads, railways or the non-designated woodland.




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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

Map 4.6 – Summary Economy and Infrastructure Analysis




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4.4.2 Conclusion - Spatial Suitability Analysis
Map 4.5 (Summary Environmental Analysis) shows the land best suited to
development for a sustainable environment. Map 4.6 (Summary Economy and
Infrastructure Analysis) shows the land best suited to development for a sustainable
economy. One conclusion is that development need not avoid non-designated
woodland.

Map 4.7 – Summary Suitability Analysis is a combination of both maps 4.5 and 4.6.
It aims to show potential locations that are suitable both from an environmental and
economic/infrastructure perspective.

To narrow the search area, any land that only meets one economic or infrastructure
criterion has been rejected.

Any cluster of land in the white areas that is olive green or light green is an area most
suitable for development. Five such potential locations for development have been
circled in black:

   1. Ruardean Plantation

   2. Coleford

…and for environmental sustainability above economic sustainability:

   3. Yorkley Court

   4. Westbury

   5. Blaisdon




Richard Crooks                                                                    Page 52
     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

Map 4.7 – Summary Suitability Analysis




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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

5. CAPACITY FOR AN ECOTOWN
The conclusions of section 4 (spatial suitability) are now compared with the
conclusions of section 3 (enhancement potential). This will identify possible
locations for sustainable development.

5.1 Conclusion – Suitable Land which also has Enhancement Potential
Map 5.1 – Suitable Land with Enhancement Potential shows the five potential
locations overlaid on the LCA coloured by enhancement potential. This analysis puts
the locations in the following order of development potential for a sustainable eco-
town:

   1. Yorkley Court (create and strengthen)




                       Looking south: Grade 3 pasture and arable farmland;
                      some ancient hedgerows; views south over Severn vale


   2. Coleford east (conserve, enhance and restore)




                      Looking west: Some grade 3 improved pasture; some
                           ancient hedgerows; on edge of core forest




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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

   3. Ruardean Plantation (conserve, enhance and restore)




                        Looking west: Generally poor grade land; heart of core
                                  forest, but heavy use of conifers


   4. Westbury east (conserve and strengthen)




                 Looking south-west: Grade 3 arable and pasture; grasslands good for
                   scarce plants; ancient hedgerows with mature trees; old orchards


   5. Blaisdon (conserve and strengthen)




          Looking south: Grade 3 arable and pasture; grasslands good for scarce plants; ancient
                              hedgerows with mature trees; old orchards



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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

Map 5.1 – Suitable Land with Enhancement Potential




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      Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

The Yorkley Court site (see Map 5.2 - Yorkley Court) seems a clear favourite as there
is a need to create a new landscape here and resolve its relatively low character and
poor condition.

However, the capacity of all the five potential locations to sustain an Eco-town will
now be evaluated. This was achieved through a cursory Environmental Impact
Assessment (EIA) and with reference to Eco-town best practice

5.2 Environmental Impact Assessment
According to the Governments procedural guide to environmental impact
assessment (EIA), EIA is “an important procedure for ensuring that the likely effects
of new development on the environment are fully understood and taken into
account before the development is allowed to go ahead.” A cursory EIA now follows
that will confirm or deny Yorkley Court as the most suitable site.

5.2.1 Description of development and size of land
Following current best practice, an Ecotown will comprise approximately:

        Element                                                               %            Area (Ha)

           Green infrastructure                                              30               109
           Dwellings                                                         40               145
           Industry, shops and offices                                       16                58
           Social, education and health                                      5                 18
           Existing and new transport infrastructure                         9                 32
           Total                                                            100               362


Dwellings
There will be a minimum of 5,000 dwellings (and potentially 6,500 - the entire SW
Region housing allocation for the Forest of Dean). Density is likely to vary across the
Ecotown, but on average it will be quite high at 45 dwellings per hectare (dph).
Higher densities23 24 are felt to be not suitable to predominantly semi-rural locations.
The total area required for housing is 145ha (6,500 / 45). The PPS “Impact
Assessment: Eco-Towns” (p52) assumes that there will be on average 2.98 people
per dwelling, meaning an additional 19,370 residents. Affordable housing will be
35% of the total.

23
    This is denser than Poundbury, Dorset (35dph) to better utilise Combined Heat and Power (CHP)
opportunities.
24
   CABE suggests (in “what makes and Eco-town” that density should be 50-100 in the town centre and 50-60
dwellings along transport corridors.

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As housing is 40% of the total, the area of the Ecotown will be approximately 362ha
(or 3.62 km2).

Green Infrastructure
30% (109ha) of the entire area (excluding private gardens) will be integral, multi-
functional green infrastructure connected with surrounding habitat islands25. This
will include space for sustainable drainage systems (SuDS), grey and black-water
waste treatment, energy production (e.g. biomass), allotments, green cemetery,
green transport routes and recreational space such as parks and playing fields.

Industry, shops and offices
The development will be mixed, because there must be - as a minimum – “access to
one employment opportunity per new dwelling that is easily reached by walking,
cycling and/or public transport.” The PPS “Impact Assessment: Eco-Towns” (p52)
assumes a level of economic activity that means 1.34 jobs need to be created per
dwelling, i.e. 8,710 new jobs. It assumes that on average industry requires 1 Ha for
every 150 jobs, meaning the land required is 58ha (16%)

Social, Education and Health
The Ecotown will be self-sufficient for:

           Society          (community hall cum covered market, meeting place)
           Education        (new first school and potential college)
           Health           (doctor, dentist, pharmacy)
           Leisure          (sports centre, youth facilities)

It will also be within easy public transport access to a nearby hospital.

Transport
Any new transport infrastructure for the Ecotown will predominantly be green
and/or public transport, e.g. paths, cycle-ways and public transport systems e.g.
monorail or cable-car, that do not fragment green-infrastructure.


5.2.2 Location Criteria and Assessment of Effects
Figure 6 – EIA Comparison lists the criteria against which the impact of the five
potential locations will be assessed. In summary, the methodology used means that
none of the potential sites will have a significantly negative impact on the
environment.

25
     CABE suggests that 40% of the total area including private gardens should be green infrastructure.

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Yorkley Court does not create any more negative environmental impact than any
other potential location. However, there are four main issues to be addressed in the
next phases (master-planning and “design and access”):

   1. There are views into the location from the Severn Vale

   2. There are some ancient hedgerows that must be retained and protected

   3. There will be loss of pasture and arable farming. However, the integration of
      sustainable urban poly-culture food production, e.g. market gardening and
      allotments, can make a valuable use of this Grade 3 land.

   4. Plummets Brook (arising from a spring line) flows through the location. These
      riparian habitats will be set-aside as core green infrastructure.


This report concludes with a vision for the Forest of Dean study area including its
potential new Eco-town of Yorkley Court.




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        Figure 6 – EIA Comparison

                                                                                                                                                     Potential Location
Differential Impact Assessment Criteria
                                                                                         Yorkley Court                    Coleford                  Ruardean Plantation                  Westbury                          Blaisdon
Size
  Is there 362 ha available (3.62km2)                                                         Yes                         Yes (just)                      Yes (just)                          No                        Yes (if expand)
Urban
  Proximal to higher order settlement                                                        Lydney                       Coleford                       Cinderford                          No                              No
  Capacity for public transport links                                              Rail, Road, River, New Rail         Road, New Rail                  Road, New Rail                    Rail, Road                    Road, New Rail
  Proximal to existing employment opportunities                                              Lydney                       Coleford                       Cinderford                          No                              No
  Proximal to planned employment opportunities                                               Lydney                       Coleford                       Cinderford                          No                              No
  Visual impact on surrounding landscape                                                       High                         Low                             High                          Medium                          Medium
  Effect on architectural and historic heritage, archaeological features etc
Transport
  Effect on local roads and transport
  Connectivity to other nodes                                                                 High                         Medium                          Medium                            High                          Medium
Habitat
  Loss / damage of habitats and plant and animal species*                            Some ancient hedgerows                Woodland                       Woodland               Grasslands with wild daffodil,   Grasslands with wild daffodil,
                                                                                                                 Old mines have horseshoe bats                                      green-winged orchid.             green-winged orchid.
 Loss/ damage of geological, palaeontological and physiographic features.
Land
 Physical effects of the development, eg change in local topography 2                                         Seive mapping for suitable land has avoided need for major earth movement or foundations
 Effects of chemical emissions and deposits on soil 3
 Quality and quantity of agricultural land to be taken                                   Grade 3 (most)                Grade 3 (some)            Grade 3 (little) and 4 (some)         Grade 3 (most)                   Grade 3 (most)
 Sterilisation of mineral resources
 Other alternative uses of the site, including the `do nothing' option;            Pasture and arable farming         Improved pasture                                              Arable and pasture               Arable and pasture
 Effect on surrounding land uses including agriculture;                                       Loss                          Loss                                                           Loss                             Loss
Water
 Effects of development on drainage pattern in the area                                                                        Development will use SuDS to filter and clean ground water
 Changes to other hydrographic characteristics                                                                               Potential locations have avoided ground water protection zones
 Effects on coastal or estuarine hydrology                                                                                     Potential locations have avoided riparian and coastal zones
 Effects of pollutants, waste, etc. on water quality                                                                        There will be no development in proximity to hydrological features
Other indirect and secondary effects
 Effects from traffic (road, rail, air, water)
 Effects arising from the extraction and consumption of materials, water, energy
 Effects of new roads, sewers, housing, power lines, pipe-lines, etc.

* All "designated land" and wet meadows have been avoided




        Richard Crooks                                                                                                                                                                                                          Page 60
     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

Map 5.2 – Yorkley Court




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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

6. LANDSCAPE STRATEGY & PLANNING FRAMEWORK
6.1 Vision
The study area will be named the “Forest”.

The existing name for the Forest people – the “Foresters” – will become well known
nationally in positive terms.

The Forest land will be owned by the Foresters.

Foresters and outsiders alike will feel attachment to the Forest. They will want to
live in the Forest, work in the Forest and rest and play in the Forest.

People will know they have arrived in the Forest when they enter through one of the
eight Forest “Gates”. One of the Gates will be the marina at Lydney. The Gates were
designed through a competition.

The story of the Foresters – the “Book” - will be revealed and told throughout the
Forest through celebrating places of shared heritage and memory. Places of shared
heritage and memory will be identified and restored, either to functional use or
simply as landscape art.

The main Forest towns will be socially imaginable as distinct districts of one large
town – the “Ring”. The Ring has the largest central green space - i.e. the core
woodland - of any urban settlement in the country, if not the world. This green
space will be called the “Heart”.

See Map 6.1 – The Gates, Ring and Heart




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Map 6.1 – The Gates, Ring and Heart




Richard Crooks                                               Page 63
     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

The Ring will have a unique cable car network – the “Loop” – which will link the three
districts of the Ring to each other and with branches to the main Gates. The Loop
will re-utilise the historic tram ways, but a new route will pass through Yorkley Court
Ecotown.

As the carriages arrive in a continuous loop, passengers will never have the feeling
that they are “waiting for a bus” that may not arrive.




                        Forest cable car in Taiwan (installed by Poma)

The Loop will fragment neither place nor habitat. The Loop will be owned by the
Foresters and free to use.

It will be possible to walk or cycle across the Heart without crossing a road.

The Loop will house the infrastructure necessary for the Forest to have world-leading
Broadband capability – the Fibre. The Fibre will be accessible to all Foresters and
visitors.

The Forest can be disorienting to outsiders, but as disorientation is a positive
experience of forest landscapes, it is not a problem that needs to be solved.
Orientation will be gained by encouraging “outsiders” to become “insiders” through
ongoing experience.

See Map 6.2 – The Loop




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Map 6.2 – The Loop




Richard Crooks                                               Page 65
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The Forest will be a self-sufficient landscape. All value created within the Forest will
be retained within the Forest by the Foresters.

The Heart – i.e. the mixed woodland – is the Forester’s main asset. The Heart will be
expanded at every opportunity into landscapes where character or condition offer
enhancement potential.

The ‘green’ Heart will bleed through the ‘grey’ urban collar of the Ring and aim to
join up the outlying fragments of ancient woodland, like a branch of the National
Forest.

Settlement will become part of the growing Heart.

See Map 6.3 – The Growing Heart

The Forest will continue moving towards energy self-sufficiency, not driven by
climate change pressures, but driven by retaining value within the Ring. The
Foresters will own and operate Heart Heat or “HeartH”, a series of CHP plants using
local biomass from the growing Heart as well as industrial and agricultural waste.

HeartH will heat local residential, horticulture and market gardens, which will be
highly competitive due to high oil-prices increasing prices of imported goods.




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Map 6.3 – The Growing Heart




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The four main districts of the Ring will be nurtured to offer distinct experiences for
Foresters and visitors alike:

   1.   Coleford                   - Tourist hub, most hotels
   2.   Cinderford/Mitcheldean     - Manufacturing, forest industry
   3.   Lydney                     - Flagship retail
   4.   Yorkley Court              - Digital media, academia, arts and crafts

1. The Heart will contain a series of Forest “Lodges” (centred near Coleford). Lodges
will be locally-fabricated log cabins/chalets run as boutique hostels (ranging from
budget to luxury). The lodges will excel at providing outdoor adventure or therapy
and relaxation. The average stay for a visitor will have increased to over one week
(from one day).

2. All new development - including Yorkley Court - will be self-built using local
sourced materials (sandstones, limestone, bricks and wood) and utilising local expert
craftsmen. The Forest will be a centre of excellence for construction of dwellings
meeting Level 6 sustainability (BREEAM Code for Sustainable Homes). Manufacture
of specialist building equipment and materials – e.g. triple-glazing and heat
exchangers - would be encouraged at Cinderford.

3. Any flagship retail companies will be encouraged to Lydney, which is the best
connected district of the Ring.

4. “Forest Art” will become a globally recognised brand for digital media. This
industry will centre on Yorkley Court and will utilise the Forest as the outdoor
location for drama and film production. The Forest will be a permanent film set,
linked to a Forest University or college campus, world-renowned for digital media
and arts. Yorkley Court will also provide studio facilities for local arts and craftsmen.

See Map 6.4 – Districts

Finally, farm subsidies will be controlled by “Sustain”, a local council of expert
Foresters. Funding – including a Community Support Agriculture (CSA) scheme - will
be allocated on a “whole-landscape” basis, replacing the whole farm approach.
Targeted funding will encourage: poly-culture (productivity, diversity and resilience):
habitat connectivity across and outside the Forest; organic method; biodiversity; and
land sharing, e.g. for allotments.

Map 6.5 – Vision depicts the Forest in 2010 showing the Loop connections with
existing road and rail links.


Richard Crooks                                                                    Page 68
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Map 6.4 – Districts




Richard Crooks                                               Page 69
     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

Map 6.5 – Forest Vision (2010)




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6.2 Strategy
The Vision has set out what is ultimately desired. The strategy sets out how the
Vision will be achieved:

   1.   Who needs to be included
   2.   Who will champion the change
   3.   The delivery mechanisms
   4.   Where the money comes from

6.2.1 Community Involvement
Figure 7 – Change Involvement is a schematic representing the organisation of the
team required to deliver this new chapter in the Forest Book.

Figure 7 – Change Involvement




                      Diagram copyright Richard Crooks, December 2009

          (Based on work conducted with Andersen Consulting between 1988 and 1999)



Landscape Architecture projects have tended to emphasise the “supply-side” of
designing and delivering change. However, a greater emphasis is now being placed
upon demand side, e.g. through community involvement. This is because people
tend to feel attachment and stewardship of a place if they have been actively
involved in the design and build process.

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Participation on the demand-side will be required from:

     a) Senior Foresters, who will be asked to take an overview and ensure that the
        new overall design is faithful to the Forest story (Book) so far. These leaders
        must have the skills and determination to be the “champions of change”;

     b) Potential new residents, i.e. “owners” who will participate and sign-off the
        detailed designs.


6.2.2 Local skilled supply
Participation on the supply-side will be required from:

     a) Senior members of the FoDDC who will “navigate” the change Programme in
        the right direction. Two key posts are the Programme Director and the
        Finance Director. The Programme Director will require the full-time assistance
        of a senior Landscape Architect

     b) Local engineers, builders and craftsmen who will deliver the change (many of
        whom will be prospective residents). In the first instance, contract staff and
        consultants, e.g. Landscape Architects, will be required to do work whilst
        transferring skills to Foresters as the programme proceeds. The Foresters will
        eventually become self-sufficient in these trades. 26

An overall Programme Steering Committee will be formed of Navigators and Leaders
along with the most senior members of the Delivery teams. This forum will meet
fortnightly at first and maybe monthly as things progress more smoothly later.

A series of projects required to deliver the overall change Programme will be
established, each with a senior delivery manager and a senior “owner”. Project
progress meetings will take place at least on a weekly basis and report up to the
Steering Committee fortnightly.



26
   Note: A dependency exists on a minimum level of locally skilled resource required. Indeed this
level may also dictate both the start date and the rate of development.



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6.2.3 Sustainable Finance – A Straw Man
Current practice is for retail or investment banks to fund the large building
organisation to build new developments. Many of the large building organisations
also “own” large sections of land (known as “land banks”). They buy land on the
basis that planning permission may/will be forthcoming and that the value of their
“land bank” will appreciate dramatically overnight. These building organisations are
not charities and they also seek a good return on their (or their bank’s) money to pay
their shareholders.

The recent credit-crunch has highlighted the fragility of this financing practice. But
more importantly, the vast majority of the value created through development is
moved out of the community and so the model does not support sustainable
communities. Re-creating old finance models could be sought to help redress the
balance.

For example, the FoDDC could set up a separate charity - called “Tree House” - with
the Forest leaders. This would be a type of “terminating” or temporary building
society/co-operative common in the 19th century but revived in the 1970s by
practitioners such as Rod Hackney and Walter Segal27.

Second, Tree House would buy the Yorkley Court land (compulsory purchase) before
FoDDC provides planning consent. This funding would be sought from central
Government as a loan (at a rate close to the Bank of England rate). This would
hopefully remove the speculative investment of “land-banking”, whilst still providing
the current land owners with the going price for agricultural land.

Third, Tree House would allocate (sequentially) individual plots of land as the design
and build process proceeds organically (see Ecotown Design Philosophy above).

Fourth, individual buyers28 (with a mortgage or cash) would bid for each plot of land
at auction. This would be leasehold, with an annual fee being payable to Tree House
for further investment in Yorkley Court. The sale would be on the basis that build
will commence within a given timescale (to avoid land speculation.)




27
     Towers, G – Building Democracy (1995 p 77)
28
     Corporations, syndicates and speculators would be barred from bidding

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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

Fifth, as 30% of the plots will be for “affordable” housing, Tree House will retain
these and organise the build themselves with the future rental income helping repay
any remaining element of the Government loan).29

Finally, Tree House would act as the agent for the local project teams (of subsidised 30
local skilled engineers, builders and craftsmen) to encourage their use by individual
buyers.

In this way, economic value-add has been retained by the Foresters within the
Forest.




29
  There may be some anti-competitive laws to investigate, but the principle remains sound.
30
   Deliverers could be subsidised through local tax incentives for example. However, those who are
unemployed would effectively be subsidised by social security.

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          Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

 6.3 Ecotown Design Philosophy
 The Eco-Town of Yorkley Court cannot just be a space meeting certain environmental
 and economic sustainability criteria. It must also be a place with positive ongoing
 meaning for both residents and for visitors alike. Yorkley Court must be a place
 created to have soul and spirit. It must have a “genius loci” – i.e. a sense of place -
 and deliver a positive experience for individuals and groups. Foresters must identify
 with and feel attached to the place.

 Despite policy guidance from government and best practice documents from
 respected professional bodies (e.g. CABE, LI, TCPA), it is not always possible to create
 successful places by only following excessively rational design guides. A good
 methodology does not necessarily mean a good output, i.e. the quality of the latter
 cannot be measured against the quality of the former.

 To achieve success we need to travel back in time. We will have the luxury of taking
 with us positive technological advances, but we will be able to leave behind harmful
 elements of “progress”31.

 In broad terms, the weakening of the sense of place in the last century was
 facilitated by economic globalisation, standardised products and generic urban
 environment which had little authentic connection to local landscapes, ecosystem,
 history, culture and community32 We will swap the current model for a model that
 has existed but been lost:

                            Current Model                                    Re-discovered Model

             1. Globalisation                                         Local value-add

             2. Homogenisation                                        Local island distinctness

             3. Commoditisation of experience                         Genius Loci & Place attachment

             4. Engineered solutions                                  Design with nature

             5. Pure economic theory                                  Balanced economy, environment
                                                                       and culture
             6. Inefficient cheap technology                          Efficient value-add technology



 31
      Some architects term this “Critical Regionalism” – Thompson, I - Ecology, Community, Delight (2006)
32
      Wheeler, S - Planning for sustainability: Creating liveable, equitable and ecological communities, (2004)


 Richard Crooks                                                                                             Page 75
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6.3.1 Use Local materials
It is difficult to find a common vernacular within the study area. To outsiders this can
appear confusing and sometimes displeasing, but perhaps this gives the Forest a
distinctness to which the Foresters can feel attached. This hypothesis would require
testing.

Many old miners’ cottages were built with local quarried sandstone and it is only
more recently that “modern” housing estates have been assembled with cheap and
unsympathetic generic materials.

As the study area has a large asset base of sandstone, limestone, clay-bricks and
timber, it would appear unsustainable to construct the Ecotown from imported
materials.




                              Typical vernacular at Pillowell?

6.3.2 Self Build and Be Expressive
There is a heritage of self-build in the Forest, including the squatter cottages of local
miners who did not need planning permission if they could build a home in a day.
Whereas there are economies of scale when large developers assemble housing
estates, much of the financial value-add leaves via the profits of those corporations
and through the wage slips of itinerant workers. Although developers claim buyers
want “executive” style homes, a hypothesis requiring testing is that new occupants
feel little emotional attachment to the new dwellings.
Richard Crooks                                                                    Page 76
         Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

As Tuan states (1980),”what unifies the far flung members of the Mbono cult and
gives the cult its special aura is not the shrine, but the act of building it” (Tuan 1980).
Self-build is a not for profit venture, but is a way of creating sense of place (Genius
Loci) and place attachment, both of which help create sustainable communities.

It is very difficult to define genius loci so it is even harder to create. Notwithstanding
that, the building of the place must incorporate a sense of history, heritage and the
idea of a shared memory of the Foresters.

Another hypothesis to test with the Foresters is that “Expressivism” can help achieve
sense of place. This term dates from the Romantic period and is normally attributed
to literature, music, visual arts - painting and drama. However, Landscape design
and building can also allow group and individual expression, which fosters a local
identity, language and symbolism.

6.3.3 Create Wholes
Self-build in an accelerated timescale could result in an unstructured, incoherent and
non-functional place. Humans are social animals and are defined by what they do
and where. So it is vital that the new Eco-town creates positive spaces that serve
social (as well as ecological) purpose.

So there must be design guidance (that would normally be provided by the
community representatives over a protracted time-scale). Such design rules for more
organic growth were explored by Alexander (1986), where a model district was
assembled piece by piece with no overall Masterplan. Alexander talks of each new
building helping to create a greater whole, i.e. a sense of unity at a greater scale.
This is pertinent for the attachment of Yorkley Court to Lydney, with a view to
avoiding disconnection.33 So as there are to be rules about creating positive spaces,
the strategy will who would create and administer them.

6.3.4 Create Sympathy with Nature
The Yorkley Court site has been chosen because of its environmental suitability and
enhancement potential. So some design rules must ensure this value is entrenched
in the place:

        Protect riparian habitat: Springs and Plummer’s Brook will form the key
         element of GI. The Forest Heart will also be extended along this access.




33
     As witnessed between the new Poundbury development and the adjacent earlier suburbs of Dorchester.

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    Re-connect habitat: Link the green spaces first and the grey surfaces second.
     Ensure the latter do not fragment – i.e. form a barrier - to the former. The
     biodiversity of the site will not only be conserved, but enhanced and managed
     actively.

    Allocate land outside the aspect (SE-SW) and gradient (0-10%) criteria to GI.

    Build along contours: Little earth moving is required and dwellings will, by
     default, be orientated generally southwards to optimise passive solar gain.

    Protect views: The site offers stunning views across the Severn Vale, which
     add immense value to the space. Those views should be protected. Sympathy
     to views in should also be a primary consideration.

    Use natural surfaces: The semi-rural feeling of the development can be re-
     enforced by using permeable local materials - such as limestone chippings –
     for routes. These will also drain into swales, not engineered piped drains.

6.3.5 Tell the Story (write the “Book”)
Another method to create place attachment and to re-enforce the Foresters’ feelings
of being part of an extended family or tribe is through collective memory. Collective
memory will be recalled by writing the Book. The Book will celebrate the Forest story
told through existing places that have been: restored to functional use; established
as museums; or restored as landscape art. Chapters in the Book will include:

       Iron ore mines (“scowles”)
       Ancient charcoal coppice
       Mills and forges
       Saw mills
       Ship builders
       Quarries, lime kilns and brickworks
        Self-built sandstone squatters’ cottages
       Coal mines
       Tram-roads
       Modern engineering sites, e.g. Xerox
       Leisure and tourism centres.




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Such places – such as disused mine-shafts - may be present at Yorkley Court, but
should be celebrated across the Forest as one means of integrating the new
development into the existing Forest story.

6.3.5 Mix Uses
Policy ET10 (Employment) of PPS 1, states that Yorkley Court should be mixed use
and that commuter trips should be kept to a minimum. This has been a core element
of the analysis and identification of Yorkley Court as the preferred location. More
importantly, however, a sense of community can arise from economic vibrancy. So
industry will not be hidden away as “ugly”, but brought to the fore-front of a multi-
functional Forest life

6.3.6 Most of All Build Well
Use of technology by the commoditised building industry has created buildings and
entire settlements that are sub-optimal in terms of both efficiency and lifespan.
When looking at the total life-cycle economic and environmental costs, it is better to
“spend to save”, i.e. to invest in technology and materials that will provide greater
value in the long run.

For this reason, all new dwellings will be required to meet level 6 of the BREEAM
Code for Sustainable Homes34. Yorkley Court will be an exemplar of quality, whist
also meeting eco-town “affordability” criteria for 30% of dwellings.

Through recycling, the waste leaving the site (surface water, grey water, black water
and refuse) will be reduced in absolute terms, from current levels. No mains
services, except some drinking water, will be required.




34
     Which is more ambitious than the objective ET7 of PPS1 which limits the goal as Zero Carbon

Richard Crooks                                                                                     Page 79
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6.4 Precedents

6.4.1 Expanding Forests

The National Forest, England




“The National Forest Company leads the creation of The National Forest, a new, wooded landscape
for the nation across 200 square miles of central England. The National Forest Company was
established by Government in April 1995. It is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

         http://www.nationalforest.org/

“The National Forest Company:

        Attracts and uses resources for ambitious and imaginative Forest creation that is sensitive to
         the landscape and environment.
        Provides the setting for new businesses, recreation, tourism and an improved quality of life
        Enhances wildlife and biodiversity.

“The National Forest Company leads through working partnerships with landowners, businesses,
public, private and voluntary organisations and local communities to fulfil the shared vision for the
Forest. It promotes the widest possible participation in and enjoyment of the Forest.

6.4.2 Forest Towns (and Urban Forestry)

Freiburg, Germany




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      Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

“The Freiburg communal forest covers an area of 6,400 hectares (43 percent of the territory). This is
the largest communal forest in Germany, and is regarded as the municipal "green lungs" of Freiburg
and the most important recreational area near the city, with approximately 4 million visitors
annually.

        http://www.freiburg.de/servlet/PB/menu/1203157_l2/index.htmlZurich

“It is not by accident that the term "sustainability" comes from the forestry sector. The forest is a
natural habitat for fauna and flora and a leisure and recreation area for people. In the forest wood is
grown and produced as renewable raw material, groundwater is retained and the forest itself is
critical for climate protection.




“In times of rising fuel prices the communal forest also gains significance from an economic
perspective. Felling 35,000 m³ of timber annually makes a profit of two million Euro. However, as an
ecosystem, the forest can only be preserved and further developed if economic and ecological
management work hand in hand. When wood from the local Mooswald can be used to build
kindergartens (crèche buildings) and multi-family housing, this not only uses local resources
efficiently and saves money, as there is no need to import material, but also helps to safeguard jobs
in the region.”

Craigmillar Urban Forest, Edinburgh




“The Millennium Forest for Scotland Trust was established in 1995. It was a visionary initiative to use
over £12m of National Lottery funding from the Millennium Commission for the purpose of restoring
and regenerating native woodlands throughout Scotland. The aims of the initiative, however, were



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to go beyond the simple increase of native woodland habitats to the re-establishment of social,
cultural and economic links between people and woodlands.

       http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/Urban_Forestry/Development/index.html

“A staggering 10,000 citizens have been involved in the creation of the Millennium Forest in
Edinburgh. Coming from all sectors of the community - schools, community groups, voluntary
organisations, disabled groups, Resident Associations and social work centres - they have helped in
the design and planting of 71 community woodlands across the city.

“The woodlands have transformed school grounds, golf courses, playing fields and public parks from
green deserts into diverse wildlife habitats, and by planting trees and shrubs along cycle-ways,
walkways and watercourses, green wildlife corridors have been created to link mature woods with
the new community woodlands. The project has also made a valuable contribution in meeting
objectives set out in Edinburgh's Biodiversity Action Plan on woodland habitats, by extending
woodland cover across the city and involving people in its management.”

6.4.3 Sustainable Development (and Eco-homes)

Hockerton Housing Project, Nottinghamshire




“The Hockerton Housing Project is the UK's first earth sheltered, self-sufficient ecological housing
development. Project members live a holistic way of life in harmony with the environment, in which
all ecological impacts have been considered and accounted for.

       http://www.hockertonhousingproject.org.uk/

“The residents of the five houses generate their own clean energy, harvest their own water and
recycle waste materials causing no pollution or carbon dioxide emissions. The houses are amongst
the most energy efficient, purpose built dwellings in Europe.”




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Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm




“Hammarby Sjöstad means ‘city surrounding Hammarby Lake’ and this 200 ha brown-field
development was conceived to expand the inner city with a focus on the water, while converting an
old industrial and harbour area into a modern, sustainable neighborhood.

“Originally planned as part of Stockholm’s sustainable bid for the 2004 Olympics the development
has retained a strong emphasis on ecology and environmental sustainability. The project has already
delivered homes for almost 10,000 people in a neighbourhood and will deliver 9,000 homes and
10,000 jobs by 2015.

       http://www.urbandesigncompendium.co.uk/hammarby%20sjöstad

“The scheme has already attracted international acclaim for the quality of place created and
convinced many, that carbon neutral development does not require lifestyle changes. Many places
are now learning from the project. Use of glass as a core material maximises sunlight and views of
the water and green spaces. Sustainability is maximised across the development through the use of
green roofs, solar panels, and eco-friendly construction products. It has a fully integrated
underground waste collection system, piping waste to the local district heating plant.

“The development has its own ecosystem, known as the Hammarby Model which includes a
wastewater plant. The ‘Glashusett’, Hammarby Sjöstad’s environmental information centre
disseminates knowledge to residents and visitors via study trips, exhibitions and demonstrations of
new environmental technologies.”




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Findhorn, Scotland




“The eco-village at Findhorn is at the heart of the largest single intentional community in the UK.
It has been a pioneering eco-village since 1985 with an ecological footprint half the national (UK)
average. It comprises 55 ecologically-benign buildings; 4 wind turbines ; biological Living Machine
sewage treatment system; UK's oldest and largest Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) system;
numerous solar water heating systems; comprehensive recycling scheme ; publisher of UK's first
technical guide to ecological housing; own bank and community currency

        http://www.findhorn.org/whatwedo/ecovillage/ecovillagefindhorn.php

“The Findhorn eco-village is a tangible demonstration of the links between the spiritual, social,
ecological and economic aspects of life and is a synthesis of the very best of current thinking on
human habitats. It is a constantly evolving model used as a teaching resource by a number of
university and school groups as well as by professional organisations and municipalities worldwide.

“Preliminary results of the ecological footprint study for the Findhorn eco-village confirm ... that eco-
villages tread significantly more lightly on the Earth. The Findhorn Foundation eco village Project has
received Best Practice designation from the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat).




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                                        APPENDICES




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                             Appendix 1 – Quality of Life Capital Base Data




                                        Replace with Excel File 1




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                                 Appendix 2 –Area Character Scores




                                       Replace with Excel File 2




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                           Appendix 3 – Slope




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                           Appendix 4 - Aspect




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                 Appendix 5 – Coastal and Marshland Grazing




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                                 Appendix 6 - Hydrology


There are two large catchment areas that form the two large watercourses of the
study area, the Severn and the Wye, both of which have tidal influences. There are
several other small catchments originating in the District all of which eventually drain
into the Severn Estuary.
The River Wye
The River Wye originates in the hills of central Wales. It has a large and relatively
steep upstream catchment of 3,300 km2, flowing through a steep, wooded valley at
the western edge. A small number of minor rivers drain westwards into the Wye en
route to the Severn.

River Severn
The River Severn is the largest watercourse with a catchment of 10,000km2 and
forms the eastern and southern boundaries. It has a wide and relatively flat
floodplain. It is a tidal estuary and tidal influence is significant, especially the high
spring tide, when a sudden increase in tidal water level downstream is funnelled up
the watercourse (the “Severn Bore”). Several minor rivers drain southwards into the
Severn:
       Cinderford Brook
       Together with the Lyd, Cinderford Brook is the main river draining the Forest.
       It flows from Cinderford 12km south east through the village of Blakeney to its
       confluence with the Severn
       River Lyd
       The River Lyd drains the central Forest and flows to the town of Lydney. From
       here it winds its way a southward towards the Severn


Flood Risk
PPS25 planning policy on development and flood risk aims to ensure that flood risk is
taken into account at all stages of the planning process to avoid inappropriate
development in areas at risk of flooding, and to direct development away from areas
at highest risk.

The Severn is defended along the study area’s boundary, which has greatly reduced
flood risk. As a result of climate change, the depth of flooding is likely to increase in
well-defined floodplains, notably in the Lyd catchment, while the extent of flooding is
likely to affect the Cinderford Brook as well as along the Severn Estuary, which will be
subject to increased storm surges and wave height in the future.



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The remaining small catchments also pose flood risk, depending on the
characteristics of any localised storms. The Environment Agency’s Flood Zones show
that flood risk is small and dispersed, including Parkend, Whitecroft, Drybrook, and
Cinderford.




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                           Appendix 7 – Soils




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                   Appendix 8 – Agricultural Grade of Soils




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                 Appendix 9 - Biodiversity and Land Designations




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                      Appendix 10 – Ancient Woodland




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                                    Appendix 11 – Social Data




                                      Replace with Excel File 3




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                                   Appendix 12 – Current Skills Base35



Manufacturing is still the most important part of the Forest of Dean’s industrial
heritage, but it has moved away from iron and steel to advanced electronics and IT.

Today much of this industrial past is hidden in the woodland, but the electronics,
engineering, and local ceramics businesses provide much of the employment. The
food industry is also well represented, with one of Britain’s major drinks businesses 36
processing millions of tons of blackcurrants. Others make fine food from local
salmon, pork and locally sourced fruit.

Major national and international businesses located in the Forest of Dean serve the
automotive and manufacturing industry, making tyres, and transport components,
while the largest business site in the South is located in Mitcheldean, with more than
2,000 people37 producing computers and photocopier components, and providing
many other industrial components and services.

Not only does the woodland landscape provide very attractive homes and business
locations, but it also provides a heritage of papermaking, publishing and related craft
skills. Virtually every tea drinker’s teabag uses specialist ‘filter paper’ produced at
Lydney. Fencing, decking, gates and an impressive variety of indoor and outdoor
furniture items are produced at Cinderford.

At Mitcheldean a global organisation produces hundreds of tonnes of reports and
documents, and millions of copies for the UK and Europe. Electronic text from all over
the world arrives there to be converted into books, manuals and educational
information in convenient and permanent hard copy form. This operation demands
substantial IT expertise, and Foresters built the first European photocopier here in
the late 1950s.

As the photocopier and electronic printer developed, this global business
bequeathed an impressive suite of skills now being exploited by local innovators,
who apply them to telecommunications, automotive control systems, security
systems and other IT-based services. These include organisations helping Britain’s
national telecommunications businesses, introducing the next generation of wireless,
cable and ‘ultra fast’ broadband to consumers and businesses worldwide.


35
     http://www.localauthoritypublishing.co.uk/councils/forestofdean/industry.html
36
     GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
37
     Assuming his is Xerox, they now employ less than 50

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Near Lydney visitors can see a community of craftsmen at work, as well as many
types of retail outlets with organic food products, a café, and other fashion, home
furnishing and gift items.

Outdoor activities based in the Wye Valley continue to develop, while disused
quarries are home to enterprising organisations offering diving training and off-road
vehicle experience. There are also a number of developments on the business parks,
offering logistics services, and health & beauty products, including jewellery.

Traditional industry still has a substantial presence, with toolmakers, bridge builders,
and other precision engineers providing significant employment. More recently there
has been a real movement to diversify, and today the Forest of Dean offers some real
opportunities to the entrepreneur. Nine substantial business parks provide a good
choice of location for manufacturing and service industries, including modern
facilities at Mitcheldean, Cinderford and Lydney.

Much of the economy is still largely dependent upon manufacturing. Agriculture and
forestry make a substantial contribution to the local economy and play an important
support role to tourism, which is fast becoming a very successful business sector,
with many innovative attractions.

There is a substantial regeneration programme throughout the Forest of Dean, and
the Forest of Dean District Council helps businesses to benefit from funds. The Forest
of Dean, as a former coalfield area, is eligible for support from the Coalfield
Programme, and active consultation is under way.

Many incoming industries have grown to value the beautiful environment and strong
technical skills base within the Forest of Dean. This has included one of the UK’s
leading health, beauty and fitness product manufacturers, which uses substantial
volumes of moulded plastic products, many produced by an in-house mould shop
using the precision skills of toolmakers to produce the moulds.

There is also a vibrant local craft economy. Fashionable, well designed Forest
ceramics and fabrics find customers in London, New York and Paris, while fine
original Forest beers and wines are equally valued in discerning hostelries and homes
throughout the UK. All these developments have combined to provide a varied
industrial and commercial base.




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                        Appendix 13 – Productivity




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                    Appendix 14 – Innovation (woodland)




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                 Appendix 15 - Railways (present and historic)




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                                  BIBLIOGRAPHY


   McHarg, Ian - Design With Nature (1969 and 1992)
   Owen , Stephen - Planning Settlements Naturally (1991)
   Hough, Michael - Cities and Natural Processes (1995 and 2006)
   Selman, Paul - Planning at the Landscape Scale (2006)
   Thwaites, K and Simkins, I – Experiential Landscapes (2007)

 RPS Chapman Warren - Quality of Life Capital methodology
 Robert Wood and Joe Lavertz - Recasting the urban fringe, Landscape Design (Oct
  2000, pp13-16)

 Natural England – Forest of Dean and Lower Wye Character area
 Landscape Character Assessment – Forest Of Dean District (LDA, 2002)

 Dreghorn, William - Geology Explained in the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley
  (1968)
 Halcrow - Forest of Dean District Council Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for Local
  Development Framework
 Land Use Consultants - South West Future Landscapes Programme: Phase 1
  Technical Report, March 2009

   MAFF Soil Maps
   MAFF Land Use maps (1972)
   EA Flood Maps (current)
   Office for National Statistics (ONS) – Neighbourhood statistics database

 Communities and Local Government -
  o PPS Eco-towns - A supplement to PPS1
  o PPS Eco-towns – Impact Assessment
  o Eco-towns Location Decision Statement
  o PPS25 Development and Flood Risk
  o Regional Spatial Strategy South West - RSS10
  o Regional Economic Strategy South West (RES)
  o Code For Sustainable Homes
  o Environmental Impact Assessment – Guide to Procedures (2000)


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     Forest Of Dean - Landscape Strategy and Planning Framework

 Gloucestershire County Council – Renewal Energy and the River Severn (2006)
 Forest of Dean District Council
   o Core Strategy
   o Employment and Tourism, Issues and Options (2006)
   o Cinderford Area Action Plan (Alan Baxter Associates 2009)

  English Partnerships (Urban Design Compendium 1&2)
  Landscape Institute - Position statement - Green infrastructure: Connected and
   multifunctional landscapes
 CABE – What Makes an Eco-town (2008)
 Crooks, R - Design and Access Statement – Leckhampton Glebe (2008)
 Bendixson and Platt - Milton Keynes, Image and Reality (1992)
 West Dorset DC SPD – Poundbury Development Brief (2006)
 Alexander, C – A New Theory of Urban Design (1987)
 Thwaites, K and SImkins, I – Experiential Landscape (2007)
 Wheeler, S - Planning for sustainability: Creating liveable, equitable and ecological
   communities, (2004)
 Towers, G – Building Democracy (1995)




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