CAMPAIGNERS in Stonehouse are delighted that there will be a public consultation on the future of the former Ship Inn site.

Community group ShIPS - Ship Inn Project Stonehouse requested a consultation on the canalside plot of land after Stroud District Council stated an interest in placing affordable housing there.

ShIPS members say the piece of land off Bristol Road, which was previously the site of a pub, is key for the town to make the most of the canal.

Stonehouse Town Councillors discussed the possibility of a public consultation at their meeting on Monday (June 14).

Letters from 119 people were presented to councillors, urging them find out how townspeople would like to see this key, strategic canal-side site developed as part of Cotswold Canals Connected’s restoration of the Stroudwater Navigation.

Councillors voted in favour of seeking the views of the community.

Former Gloucestershire County Councillor for Stonehouse Lesley Williams MBE, who wrote in support of public consultation, said: “The reason this issue won’t go away is because the community wasn’t consulted prior to the land being transferred to Stroud District Council’s Housing Revenue Account in 2016.

“The people of Stonehouse feel a strong connection with the site. It has a rich industrial history and folk have good memories of times spent at the actual Ship Inn, the nearby pub that was demolished in 1997 to make way for road widening.

“In 2012, it was even turned into a temporary slipway to launch the boats that took part in Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations so there is huge interest in the community and strong opinions on how it could be developed for the maximum benefit of Stonehouse and the wider Stroud district as part of the canal project.

“Well done to Stonehouse Town Council for agreeing to hold this long-overdue public consultation.”

The details and timing of the public consultation will be finalised in the coming weeks.