The final sign-off for a controversial 180-home estate in a Forest of Dean village was approved yesterday.
Forest of Dean district councillors gave the last nod of approval to developer Barratts’ bid to build the development on the outskirts of Berry Hill by a majority of one.
The homes will be built on farmland in Lower Lane, but some councillors and members of the public were concerned about existing neighbours’ loss of privacy during a council meeting yesterday.
One objector, Lloyd Priest, said in the meeting: “Some semi-detached houses do not blend in with surroundings, directly overlooking residents’ gardens who will be looking into the new houses’ bedrooms.”
A council officer said there wasn’t a ‘planning reason to alter a privacy standard’.
They said: “I see from the photographs that the existing houses will be on higher land so in some ways those residents will be overlooking the proposed houses rather than the other way around to some degree.”
Speaking in the meeting, ward councillor Carole Allaway Martin said: “While I recognise housing is essential for us to cope with an increase in population, the concerns of the community are profound.
“There is still a huge amount which needs to happen to reassure them.”
Last year Gladman Developments Ltd sold the 26 acres of green land to Barratts after plans to build on the outskirts of Berry Hill, in the Forest of Dean, sparked a court battle.
In 2017 the then Communities Secretary Sajid Javid turned down the application, saying the homes would “blight” the countryside after a planning inspectorate said the estate needed to be built as the district had a housing shortfall.
Gladman appealed to the High Court which overturned Mr Javid’s decision because it was “procedurally unfair” for not questioning the district council’s claim that the area did not need the extra homes.
There will be a range of 176 two-storey terraced, semi-detached and detached properties, and four single-storey homes with a garage or parking courts.
The village is on the edge of the Wye Valley, where famous Forest playwright Dennis Potter was brought up, and has a population of around 1,700 people.