STROUD Magistrates' Court will be closed as part of cost-cutting measures announced by the Ministry of Justice, it has been confirmed today.

All hearings will now be moved to Cheltenham Magistrates' Court, 14 miles away, despite concerns having been raised about travel time.

The closure is expected to take effect between July 16 and September 16.

Gloucester Magistrates' Court and Cheltenham Rivershill House Tribunal will also be closed, following the results of the consultation today.

After a consultation was launched in July, the Lord Chancellor decided the court would close as it is 'underused.'

MP Neil Carmichael, Stroud Town Council and several magistrates objected to the plans to close the court.

HM Courts and Tribunals service will look into a proposal by Stroud District Council to use civic buildings in Stroud for some hearings.

Justice Minister Shailesh Vara said: “Our courts and tribunal system is in need of urgent reform.

"Maintaining our underused and dilapidated court buildings costs the taxpayer £500 million a year but some courts sit for less than half the time available.

“This is simply unsustainable. Closing these courts in poor quality buildings will raise £40 million to re-invest in the justice system, and save hard-working taxpayers £27 million per year.

“The decision to close a court is never taken lightly, but in the digital age I am confident we have measures in place to ensure access to justice is not diminished.”

The operating costs of the court were £133,000 in 2014/15.