Plans for new canal and homes in Dymock set to be refused again
PLANS to restore a stretch of the Hereford to Gloucester canal in Dymock look set to be rejected – again.
The scheme, on land off Western Way, would see 20 new homes built around a new section of the waterway.
It was initially tabled in March last year but the proposals were withdrawn at the last minute after planners earmarked it to be refused.
Since then, applicants the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust and Two Rivers Housing have gone back to the table and revised plans are set to go before Forest of Dean District Council's development committee on Tuesday.
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But officers have again recommended it be thrown out.
David Penny, commercial and technical director at the canal trust, said: "It would be a real slap in the face for the villagers in Dymock if it goes the way of the recommendation. But we are putting our trust in the councillors, it's a test of democracy on Tuesday and we do think they will be able to see through this and get it through."
First time around, the project was criticised heavily for the design and layout – which has subsequently been completely overhauled, Mr Penny said.
The report drawn up by council officers praises the efforts put in since then but still ultimately recommends it is refused, on the grounds that great crested newts could be threatened and "insufficient information has been submitted to satisfactorily demonstrate the significance of the heritage asset and to determine appropriate mitigation".
Mr Penny said: "We are all extremely frustrated, we don't think the report is acceptable. We have used world-renowned consultants on the archaeology and great crested newt – there are no great crested newts there."
The project would include a village car park, a mix of affordable and open market housing and a children's play area around the new stretch of canal.
The council's report said: "There remain a number of outstanding matters which have yet to be resolved."
The meeting starts in Coleford at 2pm on Tuesday.