Councillors barred from discussing Sainsbury's plans for Lydney in public
Upset councillors have been banned from revealing what happened at a behind closed doors meeting.
Forest of Dean District Council hosted a delegation from Lydney Town Council on Tuesday but those who attended have been told not to talk about it in public.
It was held to clear up a row brewing after Forest of Dean District Council’s elected planning committee members overruled their officers when they awarded planning permission for a new Sainsbury’s store.
Some district and town councillors feared the decision to award planning permission was going to be blocked after that meeting, so met district council planners on Tuesday afternoon.
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The district council said the decision on the greenfield site off the town’s bypass still stands but some fine tuning is needed.
But no-one is allowed to talk about it publicly, it seems.
“We have been clamped with a confidentiality agreement,” said Lydney town councillor Carol Harris.
“We are not able to discuss it.”
It was recommended for refusal by the district council because of the effect it could have on other stores and towns in the Forest of Dean.
The committee backed the application because hundreds of new homes are coming to the town and Sainsbury’s will have to shell out money for amenities which could bring in up to £11million of investment to the town.
They won the day at the meeting on October 8, and passed it because it would unlock land east of Lydney bypass, create jobs, encourage more people to visit Lydney town centre, improve highway infrastructure and relieve congestion in Bream Road junction with the High Street.
A Forest of Dean District Council spokeswoman confirmed the planning permission still stands but fine detail and money from the developer to fund local amenities still needs to be approved.
“It will be brought back to the next committee meeting,” she said.
“Permission has been granted but conditions of that permission and the Section 106 agreement need to be finalised at the next meeting.
“It is not the practice of the council to discuss externally meetings held with developers.”