Chas Fellows’ column

LAST week, we looked at how the economy should develop in the district.

I mentioned employment, transport, jobs, tourism, retail and town centres as areas of focus.

This week, we want to focus on housing and communities.

But it’s important to remember that the economic factors and housing issues should not be looked at in isolation.

They both come together to make the place we live and work – and your views on all the areas will help us put together a well thought out plan for the next 20 years. Perhaps the best illustration of this is the Hunts Grove development.

While the downturn has slowed things down, it’s important to note that this whole development is centred on creating a sustainable community – not just building a housing estate. I’ll give you the background.

There is much need for more housing across the country and Hunts Grove is a development of 1,750 homes that will be built on the northern edge of the district.

As well as 525 of the homes being built for affordable housing, the plans include play areas, a post office, community sports hall, medical centre, shops, a school, employment areas and allotments.

It also includes bus routes, footpaths and public spaces and is also close to existing areas of employment.

Similarly, in the south of the district, there’s the Littlecombe development, a £150million scheme which could house 1,000 jobs and 600 new homes.

It also includes play areas, dedicated toddler areas, a new Dursley base for Stroud College, land set aside for a doctors’ surgery and a 45 bed nursing home. So you can see how we think about all these aspects together.

That said, you may favour the building of more homes in existing villages.

But is the existing infrastructure strong enough to accommodate this? And what are your views on building in the countryside – after all, we are a rural district?

What do you think?

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