Plans unveiled for tourism-based development of Sharpness by the Canal and River Trust
PLANS are to be showcased for a tourism-led development of Sharpness Docks, which includes 300 houses, a hotel and restaurant and water sports facilities, as well as industrial expansion.
The Sharpness Docks Estate is to be the focus of significant future development as part of Stroud District Council’s planning strategy up to 2031, called the local plan.
The vision for the 100-acre area has been drawn up by the Canal and River Trust, which owns most of the land, barring some single residential properties, and will be shown at a public exhibition next Wednesday, August 21.
The charity hopes to take advantage of the marina, canal and the undeveloped land in the area.
As part of the plans, the camping function at the site of the former Vindicatrix Camp is to be restored, with eco-lodges installed and the adjacent deep basin to be utilised for water-based recreation and sports.
A hotel and restaurant are to be included and the marina will be expanded to include retail and food and drink outlets.
Other recreational facilities including a community football pitch, community gardens, informal green space and equestrian development are also planned.
Of the 300 houses expected to be built to the north of the docks, 30 per cent is earmarked for affordable housing.
The south of the docks will see an expansion of around seven hectares for new industrial development and the roads throughout the docks will be improved.
Development manager for the trust Catherine Rogers said the investment would create a huge number of jobs over the time period.
"I think there’s a lot of heritage attached to this estate and it needs to be looked after going forward," she said.
"We have spoken to some of the residents but there’s a lot of other people that use the estate around here. The event will offer residents the chance to view the plans."
Stroud District Cllr Liz Ashton (Labour, Berkeley), who covers the Sharpness area, has reservations about the plans, believing it might lead to the polarisation of the communities north and south of the docks.
"I have been surprised with how positive people have been but they still have reservations," she said.
"The houses could become second homes because there are 50 five-bedroom houses allocated which is quite a lot, so you would need a fair amount of money to live there.
"I was hoping the extra 50 houses would be allocated for the new town part of the village, that’s where people would like to see them. With a few more people living there it would make it a bit more viable."
Stroud District Council voted to increase the number of homes planned for Sharpness from 250 to 300 in the local plan, which was approved on July 25.
The public exhibition is being held at Navigation House, The Docks in Sharpness next Wednesday from 3pm to 7pm.
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