Column by the leader of Stroud District Council, Doina Cornell.

An extra Environment Committee meeting was held this week to launch the next phase of the local plan consultation.

In August 2020, the Government published a consultation document which proposed changes to the way the minimum housing requirement is worked out by Government for each local authority area. This revised method proposes increasing the requirement for Stroud District from 638 homes to 786 homes per year. If this new method is confirmed, the Local Plan may have to identify further land within the District for housing, this could be an additional 1,050-2,400 homes between now and 2040.

The committee is therefore looking to propose a further public consultation to identify how to achieve an additional housing supply, if required.

Four options have been identified and could include the following: additional housing within the boundaries of some of the sites already identified within the Draft Local Plan; further housing sites in the smaller towns and larger villages; a new growth point, potentially located along the main movement corridors within the District (A38, A419, A4135); or a wider dispersal of new housing sites including sites in smaller settlements. Consultation will also take place on additional larger housing sites at Whitminster and Moreton Valance.

The public consultation will last eight weeks commencing the week of 19 October.

Due to the current restrictions, the public consultation will have to be conducted mainly online. All the supporting documents will be available on the council website and there will be an online questionnaire as well as meetings with parish and town councils, key stakeholders and other groups.

The results of the consultation will help to inform the final contents of the Draft Local Plan.