RESIDENTS are being invited to make their voices heard in a bid to ensure future development in Stroud district is done in the right places and in the right way.

Stroud District Council is now consulting on the future of the district and would like to hear people’s views about how they want the area to develop up to 2040.

Planners from SDC will be available to listen to the public’s views on the Draft Local Plan at open public exhibition sessions next month, as well as being able to take responses online.

Developers who are promoting major strategic sites will also be available to speak to separately at the open sessions.

A Local Plan is a blueprint for development in a district, which maps out where homes, employment and leisure uses will go.

Consultation on the Draft Local Plan will last nine weeks and starts on Wednesday 20 November, ending on Wednesday 22 January.

The Draft Local Plan is a refinement of the Emerging Strategy which SDC consulted on last year and contains a number of key changes.

These include various updates following SDC’s declaration of a climate emergency last year, such as supporting progressive zero carbon construction and design standards, upping renewable energy provision, and prioritising sustainable transport options.

Also, some sites have been removed from the plan, in Dursley, Minchinhampton and Standish, due to concerns of the impact on the Cotswolds AONB. Some growth is now proposed at sites in Frampton-on-Severn and Whitminster and new sites with employment potential have been identified, including at Javelin Park, Haresfield and Renishaw’s New Mills.

A council spokesman said: “We have looked again at the strategy of concentrated growth versus dispersal in to villages in the light of public consultation results.

“But sustainability appraisal and a transport assessment has identified the clear benefits of concentrating most growth in terms of maximising the use of infrastructure and minimising the need to travel.”

One of the council’s key challenges is to meet a 40 per cent increase in the target set by Government for new house building – if the new plan is not approved Stroud District Council could lose control of where homes can be built.

In the current Local Plan period from 2006 to 2031, the target for Stroud District Council is 11,400 homes, of which 5,700 have been built and 5,700 have permission.

Currently 456 homes per year are being built in Stroud District.

However the new National Planning Policy Framework announced in July 2018 raises the District target to 638 homes per annum.

The timetable for progressing the Local Plan will require Council to approve the final Draft Plan in July 2020. After six weeks of statutory consultation in September-October 2020, the Draft Plan, supporting documents and representations received, will be submitted to the Government in November 2020.

If the Plan submission is delayed, the housing requirement will increase, as the current Local Plan will be more than five years old.

“The Local Plan is a very important document for the whole district for generations to come,” said SDC Planning Strategy Manager Mark Russell.

“I would urge everyone who has a view to get involved in this stage of the consultation.”

Public Exhibition Dates:

• Monday 2 December: Brookthorpe Village Hall, 2pm to 6pm.

• Tuesday 3 December: George Room, Stroud Subscription Rooms, 2pm to 6pm.

• Wednesday 4 December: Stonehouse Pavilion, Oldends Lane, 2pm to 6pm.

• Friday 6 December: Cam Parish Hall, 2pm to 6.30pm.

• Saturday 7 December: Cam Parish Hall, 9.30am to 12.30pm.

• Tuesday 10 December: Hardwicke Village Hall, 2pm to 7pm

• Friday 13 December: Sharpness Village Hall, 2pm to 6.30pm.

• Saturday 14 December: Sharpness Village Hall, 9.30am to 12.30pm.

• Monday 16 December: Slimbridge Village Main Hall 2pm to 6.30pm.

• Tuesday 17 December: Slimbridge Village Main Hall 9.30am to 12.30pm.

An extra exhibition date in Berkeley is to be confirmed.

The plan can be viewed at parish and town council offices open to the public, public libraries, SDC offices, or online at