Plea to Stroud District Council leaders to focus on job creation, not more housing
THE PEOPLE of Cam have called on Stroud District Council to focus less on housing and more on job opportunities in the area.
The results of public exhibitions held in February by the council at six specific areas targeted for increased development have been released.
One such area is the north east of Cam, which had the highest turnout of any region with almost 200 people attending.
At the exhibition, people had the chance to tell the council how they wanted to see their community improve in the future.
Of particular interest to residents was for the council to focus more on employment in the area than housing.
Other popular suggestions were minimising the use of green field sites in development and focusing on smaller blocks of housing.
Cam residents also called for more flats for young and old people and making the village have more of a community centre than a suburban sprawl.
Cllr for Cam West and executive member of planning, Dennis Andrewartha (Lib Dem), said he was encouraged by the comments.
"They approached this more constructively and pragmatically than the rest of the district, and more people attended by far. I thought in the main it was a positive response. I am rather proud of them," he said.
At the Sharpness public exhibition, with over 100 people attending, there seemed to be a consensus that creating leisure and tourism-led developments was the way forward for the area.
People spoke of improving public transport and road infrastructure as well as better medical facilities.
The 200-page report was delivered at the council's executive meeting on Thursday, December 20 and received praise for its insight and detail from several councillors.
Executive member for environment, Cllr Simon Pickering called it: "a fascinating, comprehensive report" and congratulated the planning officers for their work.
However Cllr June Cordwell, executive member for community services, showed concern about the weight the report would have on the future local plan.
"If we take comments from 60 people in some areas, we are not going to get a true picture of the district," she said.
"We should not be letting little groups of people become the majority view."
When the local plan, known as the core strategy, is submitted to government inspectors in the summer next year, it will identify key locations in the district for the growth of housing and jobs until 2031.
Under the current proposals these growth areas will accommodate between 2,725 and 4,960 new homes and facilitate the creation of jobs.
Earlier this year, the council said that between 9,260 and 11,500 homes would need to be built by 2031 in the district, with 6,535 already built or with planning permission.