WORK is likely to begin soon on a major development in Dymock which includes 20 new houses and the restoration of a historic canal.

Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal Trust hopes it can boost its aim of restoring the 34-mile canal linking Hereford to the River Severn.

The trust and Two Rivers Housing Association submitted a planning application which has been given the goahead by Forest of Dean District Council.

David Penny of the trust said: “We’re very pleased the councillors supported our application, because it’s a real example of localism in action. We’ve been working for some years with the parish council over this development.

“Now we hope to start work as soon as possible.

“We’ll be on site over the summer and work on the housing should start in the autumn.”

Of the 20 houses in the development, 14 will be affordable.

The plan also includes a village car park with 20 spaces and a children's play area.

Terry Boon, chairman of Dymock Parish Council, said: “We’re very pleased this has been approved, because we need the affordable housing.

“Young people from the village find it impossible to get on the housing ladder because of the property prices here, so this will enable them to stay in Dymock, and then they will be able to send their children to our school and help ensure its future.”

He said the canal will be good for the village as well, as it will attract more tourists, and the car park will also be very useful, reducing parking problems in the village main street.