NEW plans have been revealed to convert the former tax office in Merrywalks into homes.

Ecotricity, which owns the building known as Merrywalks House, previously unveiled plans to replace the three-storey structure with a new sustainable eco-office block.

As part of these plans in 2017, Ecotricity said at the time that the creation of the new building would provide an extra 300 jobs and would work alongside its flagship office across the road, Lion House.

These plans, however, never materialised and the company has now submitted a new application for the building, which used to house the old Inland Revenue tax offices.

The new plans, submitted to Stroud District Council, involve changing the use of the site from offices into 18 dwellings.

Ecotricity chair Dale Vince said: "Post the pandemic we've maintained flexible working across the group and this has meant we need less office space than before.

"We bought Merrywalks House at a time when we could see ourselves needing more office space but that has changed.

"We believe it would be best used to create more homes for people in Stroud."

Stroud chamber of trade chair Tony Davey said: "As another gateway into the town that doesn't give a great impression, I know many will welcome a plan that brings the site away from being increasingly derelict, into usage.

"It is unfortunate that there is no longer a plan to support business on the site, as daytime employment in the town (which, has decreased as each Ecotricity building has been vacated) is important for a thriving weekday local economy.

"Bringing housing close to the town, which hopefully could be affordable, could help bolster the evening economy."

Gloucestershire County Council highways has however asking the current planning application to be deferred, citing parking issues.

"The existing parking layout provides a turning area at the north end of the car park," read their comment on the planning portal.

"This would be lost with the layout proposed for the change of use and overlong reversing manoeuvres would result.

"The proposed parking shortfall should be addressed by adequate evidence of the site being within a sustainable location with good nearby public transport links, services and facilities.

"It would be for the applicant to evidence this by the submission of a sustainability statement and travel plan.

"The statement should account for the different parking patterns between office and residential uses and the availability of nearby public car parks.

"The applicant should be required to submit a sustainability statement and draft travel plan to justify the departure from standard regarding the proposed onsite parking provisions.

"The Highway Authority therefore submits a response of deferral until the required information has been provided and considered."

See the application at