First ground cut on new Forest of Dean housing development

Merlin Gate

Directors from the UK’s largest housebuilders swapped suits for high vis and hard hats to put the first spades in the ground on a new 230 home development in the Forest of Dean.

Construction has now officially started at Merlin Gate in Newent, named in celebration of the neighbouring International Centre for Birds of Prey which protects a range of rare and endangered species.

Barratt and David Wilson Homes are building a range of two, three, four and five-bedroom homes, along with two new play areas, large areas of public open space, new roads and infrastructure. More than 100 new trees are also being planted on and around the site.

As well as providing new homes for the area, the project will support up to 700 new jobs and will be making significant community contributions including £45,000 towards local libraries in Newent.

138 homes will be available on the open market, 79 of which will be developed as David Wilson Homes and 59 as Barratt Homes. The remaining 92 homes – 40% of the total – will be affordable housing, made up from one-bedroom apartments and two, three, four and five-bedroom houses.

James Dunne, managing director at Barratt David Wilson Homes South West, said:”It’s great to get construction underway here at Merlin Gate.”

Steve Williams, managing director at Barratt Homes South Wales, added: “We are delighted to be pressing ahead with this exciting new community for Newent, helping to meet a known housing shortage in the area.”