The Voice Of The People Of The Forest of Dean

Objection to the Land Exchange at the Cinderford Linear Park

Wendy Jackson

Cinderford Regeneration Manager

Council Offices

High Street


Glos GL168HG

13th may 2014

Dear Wendy

I wish to submit this objection to the Land Aquisition (Land Exchange) at the Cinderford Linear Park, on behalf of Dean Forest Voice ( DFV).

Our objections are based on the intention to develop a significant parcel of Forest Waste Land which DFV believe to be illegal under the 1967 and 1981 Forestry Acts.

In order to carry out this development there has to be a considerable change of ownership of land within the Northern Quarter.

The reason for the need for this land exchange is to enable major development to take place on land that is Statutory Forest and part of the Public Forest Estate.

In a letter to DFV from the then Deputy Surveyor, Rob Guest he states:-

Forestry Act 1981. Disposal of Land.

We have a strict policy on disposal of Forest Waste which is applied to deal with the numerous small land issues which occur throughout the settlement.

With regard to the current issue concerning the brownfield sites, the Forestry Act 1981 makes provision for exchange of land in the Dean where other land may be more suitable for afforestation or any purpose connected with forestry.

We have made it clear to the District Council that any disposal of brownfield sites (such as the Northern United pithead or the Cinderford Arc restored opencast area) would have to be compensated by provision of other land in the Statutory Forest more suitable for forestry purposes.

This is quite clear to us, and in no way do we consider the suggested parcels of land at Holly Hill Wood, Church Banks and Nags Head Green as more suitable for afforestation.

Neither will they compensate for the possible destruction of one of the richest wildlife sites in Gloucestershire.

Part of the Linear Park was sold by the FC to the Forest of Dean District Council , so presumably it was considered unsuitable for Forestry purposes.

It is now to be returned to the FC in exchange for land at the CNQ. How has it suddenly become better suited for forestry purposes?

The Northern Quarter Area is subject to the rights of Free Mining and Commoning. This is confirmed by statute.

The land comprising the Linear Park was subject to a Derelict Land Grant (DLG). The design criteria for the reclamation was to establish a 'soil creating habitat' suitable for subsequent re-afforestation.

The reclaimed land is subject to a public access agreement securing full and unrestricted public access until at least 2030. The agreement was a prerequisite condition of the government DLG.

This forms the basis of DFV's objection. A more detailed objection together with the relevant Lease and Grant agreements have been submitted to the Forestry Commission South West Offices.


Keith Morgan

Hon Sec. DFV

01594 833552