Housing Strategy agrees to prioritise the right homes for the Forest's future

Forest of Dean District Council Cabinet agrees plans to encourage affordable, environmentally friendly housing to support a growing population.

Last night the Forest of Dean District Council Cabinet agreed a new Housing Strategy which sets out how the council plans to encourage affordable, low-carbon housing to meet the needs of a growing population, estimated by the ONS to increase by 6000 households by 2024.

The ONS expects the Forest of Dean’s population to grow by roughly 9,000 people made up of 6,000 households by 2024 along with a growing elderly population in the district. 

The new Housing Strategy sets out the key priorities to make sure housing for the future meets the needs of a growing and ageing population while ensuring that future developments are built with the climate emergency in mind. 

The strategy focuses on three main elements, delivering affordable and suitable homes for those currently living in the area, providing homes for older people that help them live independently and making sure any new homes are built to a high quality and are environmentally friendly.

The plans include an aim to build up to 320 new affordable homes in the district by 2024 helping those being priced out of the current housing market after a significant increase in house prices over recent years. This sits alongside an aim to re-purpose unused buildings into quality accommodation while improving the quality of rented homes in the district.

The housing for older people will seek to help more people live for longer independently by providing specialist accommodation that will seek to reduce loneliness and ensure the right adaptations are in place for those who need additional support.

In July 2020 the council consulted on the draft strategy with feedback from local residents, businesses and organisations taken into account.

This strategy sits within a framework of documents and policies that all work together to provide a road-map for how FODDC as a planning authority handle housing need. The Housing Strategy is not the Local Plan, which is still open for consultation until the end of January 2021.

Councillor Claire Vaughan, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “I am very proud our new housing strategy has been approved this week.

“We want to make sure any new housing is sustainable and affordable for our communities, especially meeting the needs of our growing older population, helping them to live as independently as possible.

“We are committed to playing our part in the delivery of affordable homes which are energy efficient and carbon neutral.

“This strategy sets a positive context for driving our housing ambitions forward and demonstrates the commitment we have to always doing the best for our communities.”

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Forest of Dean Communications Team