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Five Acres redevelopment site

On 17 December 2021, the Council completed the purchase of the Five Acres site from Homes England for £1 in line with Full Council approval in July 2021.

The ambition is to redevelop the site to create a new Council owned destination leisure facility to add to existing facilities, improve the health and well-being of Forest residents and to increase the numbers of visitors coming to the area. The Council will partner with adjacent land owner West Dean Parish Council to explore a comprehensive redevelopment of the site and adjacent playing fields to improve both indoor and outdoor provision. The Council will also partner with Hartpury University and College to create a new outreach facility or Aspiration Centre.

The redevelopment of the Five Acres site is being funded by the Council’s successful Levelling Up Fund bid to Government. Levelling Up capital funding will support three projects in total: the Five Acres site redevelopment; a flagship University, Careers & Enterprise Learning Centre and electric vehicle car park at Hartpury’s main campus to support 3,000 students and the wider Forest community; and transforming three prominent buildings in Cinderford town centre into accessible spaces that will support business start-ups and social enterprise formation, training/mentoring, arts and creative networks.

In the meantime, the Five Acres Project Board will be monitoring progress of the demolition and clearance programme of work that is currently on site. Demolition will run through to early July and liaison with Five Acres High School is ongoing to ensure that this important first phase of activity can be achieved with minimum disruption for school students, staff, parent and carers.

An information sharing event was held at the school in November 2021 and a summary of the feedback received is available below.

Next steps will involve a procurement exercise to identify a planning consultant to support site design and the planning application process. It is envisaged that the site will come forward in phases with the first build phase involving the refurbishment of the retained Speedwell building and tennis courts. The second phase to bring forward a new 4-court sports hall, 3G artificial pitch, sports pavillion and cycle hub.

Further community engagement events will be arranged to seek views as the design work takes shape.

The project links into the Allocations Plan and the Berry Hill, Christchurch and Edge End neighbourhood Plan.

Project documents

Local supply chain benefits

The Council is working to maximise opportunities for Forest based suppliers to access contracts of works and services related to Levelling Up funded activity at the Five Acres site. These efforts comply with the Council’s current contract procedure rules. The Council uses the In-tend e-portal to alert suppliers to all new contracts of work above £10,000. To register your business or social enterprise as a potential new supplier please review the e-tendering guide and submit your details.

Site security

Forest of Dean District Council have purchased the Five Acres site from Homes England. Five Acres High School has access rights over the one-way access loop road on the south-west boundary of the site. The access road and bus parking bay are still excluded from the secure site boundary fencing to allow access to the school to operate normally.

Report any concerns about site security or access issues to Forest of Dean District Council by calling 01594 810000 or by email to