Dispute over SDC's housing strategy
A DISPUTE over how much housing needs to be built in the Five Valleys over the next two decades threatened to erupt at a planning advisory panel meeting last Tuesday night (March 5).
Conservative and Labour members expressed dissatisfaction with Stroud District's Council existing housing strategy and specifically with plans incorporated within it to build up to 2,000 houses west of Stonehouse in Nupend and Nastend.
However, Green Party and Liberal Democrat councillors appeared to largely back the authority's draft Local Plan, which proposes the construction of between 2,725 and 4,960 new homes in the Five Valleys over the next two decades, including the development west of Stonehouse.
The Tory and Labour groups voiced repeated scepticism about the need for the development, which is opposed by Don't Strangle Stroud, with Cllr David Drew (Lab, Paganhill) speaking against it and Conservative leader Cllr Keith Pearson questioning whether it was required.
But Cllr John Marjoram (Green, Trinity) said his party supported the numbers in SDC's housing strategy and Cllr Paul Smith (LD, Wotton Under Edge) warned that the authority must get its act together and get a Local Plan in place or risk the district being 'assaulted' by developers.
Cllr Dennis Andrewartha (LD, Cam), who chaired the meeting, and Cllr Marjoram said if the Labour and the Tory groups were not happy with building west of Stonehouse they needed to suggest alternative sites for housing.