Demolition of Brimscombe Port will begin in October to make way for a new development, Stroud District Council announced.

Enterprises like Rush skatepark and the Long Table will be evicted from the site, but a development partner has not yet been found.

The council will hold a virtual meeting for residents to find out more about the project and ask questions next week.

Thrupp ward councillor Beki Aldam, who will chair the meeting, said demolition must start before roosting bats cause further delays.

“We know how important this exciting project is to our community,” said Clr Aldam, who will be joined at the meeting by council leader Doina Cornell

“The community meeting is something we have been wanting to do, to hear local residents’ questions about how the development will progress, and what this means for those organisations currently on the site.

“We are also working with the parish council to ensure that there are opportunities for the local community to be informed and shape the development as it progresses.”

SDC will invest a total of £3m which has been almost matched by external funding.

They are seeking a development partner to regenerate the port canal, create a community centre and ‘enterprise opportunities’, industry and tourism, but plans do not include connecting the canal.

The news comes after the founder of longstanding Brimscombe food hub the Long Table branded the development plans as ‘terrible’ and ‘out of date’.

Tom Herbert said: “To me it’s a 10 year old plan that doesn’t take into account how the world and the site has evolved, with Rush skatepark included.

“It seems like when bat’s move into a space, you have to take that into account and build that into your plans and my feeling is there ought to be some consideration of places like Rush Skatepark and the work we do at the Grace Network.

“That’s all we’re asking for is to be considered in the planning so that we’re not crushed in the process of seeing something new happening.”

Clr Aldam said the council was working closely with The Grace Network, which run the Long Table, on an amenable transition plan and that they encouraged the Network to find a way to be part of the development through working with a developer.

A Zoom meeting will be held on August 4 four all who live in Brimscombe and Thrupp, and the Brimscombe ward of Minchinhampton parish.

Attendees are asked to provide the SDC with their most important question beforehand so that they can ensure they are addressed. This will not prevent people from being able to ask further questions.