STROUD District Council set a minimum housing target of more than 9,000 new homes at an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday.

The special meeting considered future housing figures for the district council’s local plan.

Earlier this year, the council said that 9,350 homes would need to be built between 2006 and 2026.

At the meeting it was agreed that the time period to meet the housing commitments would be extended by five years, from 2026 to 2031.

Councillors also agreed the minimum number of new homes built in that time should be 9,260 and the maximum 11,500 depending on the economic climate.

With 6,535 of those homes already built or with planning permission, land needs to be allocated for the remainder of 2,725 homes in the local plan for delivery over the next 19 years.

Councillor Dennis Andrewartha, executive member for planning for SDC, said: "The next stage will be to work out where they should be built and that will not be without controversy."

"On something as important and controversial as housing numbers we expect criticism, but I’m sure that the public will be reassured that their council has the interests of the entire district at heart.

"We will do the job properly using the best available information. If we don’t do it properly, we won’t have a plan, and if we don’t have a plan we will be defenceless against predatory developers – and no-one wants that."