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Stroud’s draft local plan seeks to increase housing supply by 40%

Stroud District's Geographic Context and landscape constraints

Stroud District Council’s draft local plan has been published as part of a live consultation which will run until 22nd January 2020.

The draft local plan identifies the housing, employment, retail and community development that is required up to 2031. It also sets out the strategy for distributing development within the District.

The document, which can be reviewed here, represents an important opportunity to have your say on the future of the district and to identify whether you feel the draft local plan is heading in the right direction.

The future of development in Stroud

The council have highlighted 40 key issues, challenges and needs facing the District, which the local plan seeks to address. Of these, priority issues include a target to become carbon neutral by 2030 and an identified need to boost housing supply by 40%.

The 40% boost to housing supply is the result of a Local Housing Needs Assessment, prepared with adjoining authorities in Gloucestershire. The assessment confirms the Government’s requirement for the draft local plan to provide for at least 638 new homes per year. This is a 40% increase from the figure in the current Local Plan of 456 homes per year. In addition to this figure, the Draft Plan identifies a target of 650 additional bedspaces in Class C2 care homes, to meet the needs of elderly people.

Given existing supply and allocations, the development strategy needs to establish just how and where at least 8,000 new homes are to be located across the District. However, delivering the growth over the next 20 years will need to be handled strategically given that 50% of the District falls within the Cotswolds AONB, it is bounded by the Severn Estuary to the west with areas liable to flooding, and the District has a rich built heritage with 42 conservation areas.

Stroud’s proposed approach to meeting housing need

The Council identify they will seek to meet the housing requirements through:

  • prioritising the use of brownfield, under used and infill land through the use of settlement boundaries;
  • regenerating large scale brownfield sites for housing, employment and canal related tourism;
  • allocating smaller brownfield sites within settlements for redevelopment;
  • the re-use of existing rural buildings;
  • encouraging rural exception sites and exception sites for first time buyers and renters subject to local needs;
  • providing opportunities for self-build/custom housing and smaller sized developments;
  • enabling some limited development at small and medium sized sites immediately adjoining settlement development limits, subject to environmental constraints (Tier 1-3 settlements);
  • supporting development of small sites of up to 9 dwellings outside settlement development limits (Tier 4a and 4b settlements);
  • responding to affordable housing need by ensuring a proportion of affordable housing on all sites of 10 dwellings or above (urban), and on all sites of 4 dwellings or above (rural);
  • ensuring new housing design is flexible and adaptable, to meet the changing needs of diverse households.

Although there is anticipated supply from a range of small, medium, large and very large sites, the Council flags that they will need to source additional reserve sites, should the identified sites not come forward at the rates envisaged.

The consultation is therefore seeking views on the plan as a whole, the identified sites for development and is also open to the submission of further sites to help them meet this anticipated need.

How we can help

Although Stroud aren’t actively promoting a Call for Sites, if you are seeking to submit a site for future development as part of the consultation, then you will need to complete a site submission form and provide a map showing the precise site boundary, along with evidence to support its suitability, availability and deliverability.

Making the necessary justifications can be a challenge, however we regularly promote land as potential strategic development sites on behalf of landowners and developers and offer a variety of services and packages. We can provide consultancy services, but also a fully funded solution via our sister company, Context.

Further ways in which we can assist include:
• we can help you to understand the development potential of your site and whether it meets the necessary requirements;
• using bespoke GIS mapping systems to undertake site specific analysis which will help to highlight the opportunities and constraints of your site or potential sites;
• assessing the credentials of your site in line with local policy and established national policy;
• coordinating your promotion efforts to make sure that the Council is provided with persuasive documentation about your site.

If you feel that you may have land suitable for housing or employment development in Stroud District or would like to explore the potential re-use of an existing rural building for residential, feel free to contact us at enquiries@plainview.co.uk to discuss ways in which we could help. Alternatively, you can submit your site via our Landmark Form. We value your privacy and any information which you provide will not be shared outside of our company and will only be used in relation to your enquiry.

IMAGE SOURCE: Stroud District Council Draft Local Plan (2019)