MORE than 400 jobs could be created under plans revealed this week for a major re-development of Brimscombe port.

The proposals, unveiled as part of the canal project, are for 214 flats, 25 houses, a business park, shops, restaurants and a hotel which could be completed by 2014.

Plans have been in the pipeline since 2003 but stalled in 2008 when British Waterways pulled out of the canal development.

Stroud District Council hopes to gain outline planning permission by March and will then look for a developer.

On Thursday, more than 60 members of the public attended a meeting at Brimscombe and Thrupp Social Centre to see much-anticipated sketches of the plans.

SDC spokesman David Marshall said: "It was a positive meeting and suggestions have been made by members of the public which we hope to take on board when we revise the plans.

"We are walking a tightrope of what the community want and what will be profitable for the developers."

Some concerns were raised about parking and transport infrastructure.

District councillor Martin Whiteside (Green, Thrupp) said: "Ultimately, we are trying to put the heart back into Brimscombe."

The six-mile stretch of canal which runs between Brimscombe and Stonehouse is largely derelict but is an important area of cultural heritage which Thrupp Parish Council hopes to preserve.

Members are keen to protect wildlife and have called for nesting sites for birds to be included and a habitat for otters.

The port was an industrial hub and the heart of Brimscombe when it opened in the 18th Century. Remnants of a bygone era such as a salt warehouse still remain and there are plans to reinstall the only surviving boat weighing machine in the country which was once part of the port.