In light of the recent news concerning Five Acres, I though my constituents would appreciate an update on the situation.
Previously, I was contacted by the former Chairman of the Strategic Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Patrick Molyneux, and asked to write to Homes England and make them aware of the committee’s concerns over the length of time this project was taking. This I did, and wrote back to the committee with a reply from Mr Nick Walkley, Chief Executive Officer at Homes England.
At the beginning of this week I was made aware that Homes England had written to the Forest of Dean District Council (FODDC) regarding the ongoing sale of the Five Acres site. Homes England informed the FODDC that, after an internal review, further work is needed before they submit their request to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire MP, to sell the site for less than market value.
My office have contacted Homes England and they have said “With any land disposal decision it is only right that we are careful with public money and undertake thorough due diligence, especially where significant investment is involved. We are therefore further reviewing all the issues relating to this case prior to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government making its decision.” “It is in both the interest of Forest of Dean District Council and Homes England that this robust review is undertaken prior to a submission.”
As a result, I have written to Mr Nick Walkley, again, and stressed the importance of this site to the local community and asked for an urgent update on the timeframe of the review.
I know many of my constituents are concerned about Five Acres, and I will update them as soon as I hear from Homes England.