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Stroud District council announce short pause in local plan process


Stroud District Council has requested a short pause in the Local Plan process which maps out development in the district for the next 20 years.

The Council needs more time to address Planning Inspectors’ concerns, and ensure development happens in the most appropriate way.

Government Planning Inspectors wrote to Stroud District Council during the summer break in the examination of the draft Local Plan.

Their main concern is the capacity of the M5 Motorway at Junction 12 and Junction 14 to support new development. This is not an issue that can be resolved by the Council alone as other partners are responsible for the strategic road network, but it is an issue that will affect all partners and which the Council is keen to work collaboratively to resolve.   

The two other issues raised by the Inspectors concern the viability of the public transport solutions at the proposed Sharpness new settlement, and the cost of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the M5 to facilitate the planned new settlement at Wisloe, between Cam and Slimbridge. A short pause in the examination would give time for the Council to work with the site promoters and partners to find solutions.

Their letter suggests that they do not have significant concerns with most of the Plan’s policies and proposed new housing and development allocations. 

However, the Inspectors have suggested that it may be appropriate for the Council to withdraw the draft Local Plan and for the current Examination in Public process to come to an end.

The Council is asking for a short pause in the statutory examination process to allow

time to address those concerns with partners.

The Council has responded to the Inspectors today (29th August), requesting that the Examination in Public is paused for a period of six months, to allow time for the Council to address and find solutions to their concerns before allowing the Examination to continue. 

The Inspectors will now consider the Council’s response before deciding on whether to stop or pause their examination of the draft Stroud District Local Plan.

Stroud District Council Leader Cllr Catherine Braun said: “It is very important to all of us who live and work in Stroud district that we have a Local Plan in place so that we can control where new housing and development takes place. Our draft local plan has taken four years to prepare and been through extensive consultation with residents and businesses, parish and town councils in the district. 

“If we don’t have a Local Plan to meet central Government-imposed housing targets then planning applications in unsuitable locations, and without the community infrastructure that’s needed will end up getting approved on appeal.” 

Chair of SDC Environment Committee Cllr Chloe Turner said:

“I’m pleased that the Planning Inspectors do not have any issues with the majority of our draft Local Plan.  It is therefore very surprising and disappointing that they are suggesting we withdraw the Plan.  The Inspectors have highlighted that some of the proposed new housing will generate traffic affecting junctions 12 and 14 of the M5.   

“However, we have identified how an increase in traffic can be addressed in our response to the inspectors and we’re prepared to work further with local stakeholders to provide additional evidence and other options to help us get this plan over the line.  With a six month pause in the timetable for the plan examination, I’m hopeful that we can address the Planning Inspectors’ concerns.” 

Copies of the Inspector’s letter and the Council’s response can be seen at:


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