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Updating the Forest of Dean Residential Design Guide

Nearly 25 years ago Forest of Dean District Council produced a Residential Design Guide. The Design Guide informs how to design new buildings and extensions that are 'distinctively' of the Forest rather than ‘anywhere’ design.


In the last few years, the importance of design is once again being recognised, and there have been a number of national policy updates and initiatives to raise housing design standards. This sets the context for an update of the District Council’s Residential Design Guide.

Now’s your opportunity because you – the people who live here - know better than anyone what makes each of the many areas, towns and villages of the Forest of Dean so special.


An updated Guide really can make a difference to what developers propose.

Through this website you can find out about what has happened to date, how the consultation and engagement is shaping the update of the Residential Design Guide and the overall process.

Houses in a rural setting

News and Updates


The first round of consultation finished in September 2022.


During this initial stage:

  • nearly 150 people completed a survey on local design and character;

  • people also shared around 60 photos of the places they live and the things they value - as we all know, ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’.This will help us to get a genuine ‘picture’ of local character and local housing (rather than just words);

  • two coach tours for local people around the district (one in the north and in the south) were run to look at and comment on recent housing developments; and,

  • a workshop for secondary school students (the all-important next generation) was held at Dean Magna School.

  • a workshop was held for professionals from both the Council side and the applicant side was held. 

Thank you to everyone who has contributed in some way to the

consultation so far. Your time and contributions are valued and will shape the update of the Residential Design Guide.


An overall summary of the consultation process to date can be

downloaded by clicking this link

You can find out more on the news page, and join a mailing list to be kept informed of progress on the update of the Residential

Design Guide by clicking here.

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