Planners agree to pause progress on Stroud Local Plan

After the viability of Stroud District Council's Local Plan came under scrutiny, planners have agreed to a 10-month pause to give the council a chance to address their concerns.

By Chloe Gorman  |  Published
Stroud District Council has been given a 10-month pause to address inspectors' concerns over the viability of its Stroud Local Plan.

After its 20-year plan for new homes and infrastructure came under fire from planners, Stroud District Council has been granted a 10-month pause in the process to address the concerns over its viability. 

The proposed Stroud Local Plan maps out where Stroud District Council intends to develop over the next 20 years, including creating two new settlements in Sharpness and Wisloe to meet growing demand for housing.

Much of the east of the Stroud district lies within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, so with floodplains in the west, there is limited space for new housing — and without a Local Plan, the council has less control over where development takes place.

After the Local Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State back in 2021, the appointed planning inspectors raised concerns over the viability of the plan in August 2023 and recommended withdrawing it all together to go back 'several stages in the plan making process' — but instead the council requested a pause

Planning inspectors have now agreed to give the council 10 months to address their specific concerns over the capacity of junctions 12 and 14 of the M5; viability of proposed public transport solutions; and the cost of installing new pedestrian and cycle bridges over the M5 — and have approved a Joint Action Plan between Stroud District Council and its partners, giving them time to find solutions, followed by a period of public consultation.

In a letter to Stroud District Council, the planners said: 'In light of the information now received, we can confirm that we agree to pause the examination for the works to be undertaken. As requested in SDC’s most recent letter the pause will be for a duration of 10 months.

'This comprises seven months to complete the work set out in the Joint Action Plan (JAP), as dated November 2023, and three months to undertake a period of public consultation. The pause shall begin on the date of this letter. The examination shall therefore resume on Thursday 5 December 2024.’

Stroud District Council leader, Catherine Braun, said: 'Having a Local Plan in place is incredibly important for the district and I am grateful to the inspectors for agreeing to our request. There has been extensive public consultation during the past four years and there will be another chance for the public to have their say later this year.

'We will work with the relevant parties to achieve a sound Local Plan, to ensure that we can control the location of housing, extent of economic growth and strengthen and adopt environmental protection.'

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