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Developing our new Residential Design Guide

Forest of Dean District Council is inviting residents and communities to share their views on what they believe makes the area such a great place to live, in turn helping to shape the Forest of Dean Residential Design Guide.

What is a Residential Design Guide?

Residential guide cover

The Residential Design Guide is used by the Council to assess whether the design of new homes, and other residential developments such as extensions, meet the standards residents expect from developments in their area and add to, not damage, the highly distinctive character of the Forest area. An updated Residential Design guide will enable the Council to have a stronger influence on design standards in planning applications, Also, due to national changes giving greater importance to good design, the new Guide is an opportunity to raise standards on issues such as carbon reduction, easy access to facilities and more.


Leader of the Council, Councillor Tim Gwilliam said:

 “Nationally there have been many discussions on the need to make sure that new homes and other developments contribute to local identity and provide a standard of design that will stand the test of time.

We want to push hard to raise local design standards, helping to ensure that we can protect the beauty of the Forest for years to come.

We know of the pride that people have in the local area and understand that local views of the places and spaces we value must inform this Residential Design Guide. That is why we invite all residents of the Forest of Dean to submit their thoughts, photographs and ideas and help us shape the future of the Forest.”


An updated Residential Design guide will enable the Council to have a stronger influence on design standards in planning applications, enabling the Forest of Dean District Council to make sure that new designs celebrate, protect and even enhance local character. The new Guide is an opportunity to raise standards on issues such as carbon reduction, easy access to facilities and more.

To help inform of the new standards of design, the Council are updating the Residential Design Guide and would like residents to help create this by explaining what they believe makes their parish, village or town special and distinctive.

How can you get involved?

All residents can get involved and have the chance to show off what they love about the Forest and share with others.

The exercise involves a survey and the submission of photographs through which we are hoping to capture what contributes to the character of the Forest of Dean.

If you do not want to take part in the exercise, but are still interested in keeping up to date with the development of the Residential Design Guide, there is an opportunity to submit your details in the survey without having to complete the other questions.

Get involved

This exercise is being operated by our specialist design consultants Place Studio on the Councils behalf. To see how the data will be used see our Residential guide - Privacy notice. See also: Place Studio - Privacy notice 

Next Steps

There will be a variety of ways to get involved with plans in the works for walkabouts with Parish and Town Councils and other community groups, engagement sessions in schools and engagement with specialists who will provide advice on technical details such as highways and heritage.

This page will be updated to show each step taken with photos and videos to tell a story of how the Residential Design Guide is formed with the involvement of you, our communities and residents. This will ensure the guide leads to development which makes the Forest of Dean a beautiful place to live, work and play.