STROUD MP Neil Carmichael this week praised the work of communities in Chalford, Dursley and Eastington in working towards compiling neighbourhood plans, during a debate in the House of Commons.

During questions to Nick Boles, Minister for Planning, Neil asked whether the Minister agreed that neighbourhood plans were an ‘appropriate protector against inappropriate developments’, with which the Minister concurred.

In July last year Neil held a seminar inviting town and parish councils to discuss developing a neighbourhood plan with key local planning consultants, and has been a champion of local communities having the ability to shape development in their areas.

Neil is currently supporting residents in Kings Stanley and Leonard Stanley, who are opposed to development at Mankley Field, and has noted the failure of Stroud District Council to implement a local plan which would protect such areas from developers.

Speaking following the debate, Neil Carmichael commented: “Neighbourhood plans are crucial in giving communities a strong voice to choose what, and where, development takes place within their area. “I am delighted that Chalford, Eastington and Dursley, among other communities, have taken the initiative, and hope that more will follow suit.

“Stroud District Council’s failure to prepare a local plan has opened the door to developers, but by adopting a neighbourhood plan communities can keep large-scale developments in unwanted areas at bay.”

Planning Minister Nick Boles will be visiting the Stroud constituency in April, to discuss development sites around the district.