More than 2,500 people have been consulted in the creation of the Neighbourhood Development Plan. It has been led by Stroud Town Council.
On Saturday (Oct 3) Stroud residents, businesses and organisations will be able to comment on the proposal at the launch of the six-week consultation period.
The public meeting will be at the Subscription Rooms from 10am to 2pm on Saturday with short presentations at 11am, noon and 1pm.
The 98-page draft report focuses on three key themes – making Stroud town centre more welcoming, healthy and thriving.
Some of the possibilities in the draft plan have evolved through extensive consultation:
- Improving the appearance of the ‘gateways’ to the town centre – all the main roads into town, plus the station forecourt.
- Up-grading the quality of streets and spaces in the town centre, to improve pedestrian experience and safety and enhance the setting of the historic buildings. The most significant proposal is for the Subscription Rooms square and Four Clocks area.
- Transforming the safety and attractiveness of access to the town centre for pedestrians and cyclists, including: a new bridge across the railway, linking Cheapside to the shopping centre and a protected direct route from Cainscross road.
- Encouraging greater physical activity in order to promote physical health and mental well-being and reduce car reliance through improvements to the pedestrian and cycling environment.
- Providing opportunities for more housing, for a variety of households, in close proximity to the town centre, thus making the town centre more lively.
- Planning Stroud as a distinctive ‘canal market town’, and capitalising on the potential improvement in rail services, to attract more businesses, visitors and local customers.
- Making the town centre more welcoming to visitors by car, bus and train, enhancing the pedestrian experience within the town centre, and improving pedestrian routes into the town centre.
- Increasing the number of people living within easy walking distance of the town centre, likely to support local shops and services.
- Encouraging investment in good quality retail, service, office and social facilities – for example: The ‘Market Tavern’ site in Cornhill; The railway arches/former bowling alley site in Merrywalks.
Following the six-week consultation of the draft plan the Town Council will submit the final plan to Stroud District Council, which will organise an independent examination of the plan to check that it has been prepared properly.
Once that is done residents of Stroud parish on the electoral register will be able to vote on the plan in a referendum next year.
When it is completed and approved by the community, the plan will become a statutory planning document that can be used to support or challenge planning applications.
Town Mayor Kevin Cranston said: “The Neighbourhood Development Plan, once approved, will become a powerful tool for people to influence future development of our town.
“The results we believe reflect a vision for a town centre that is attractive, sustainable and vibrant.”
It will cover the town centre including Merrywalks, the Cheapside area and the main gateways into the town.
More information can be found on www.shapingtheheartstroud.org.
How to get involved:
During the consultation period people can find out more by:
- Visiting the ‘pop-up’ shop 47 High Street, Stroud (at the top of the High Street), Oct 12-17 and 19-24, 10am-4pm daily;
- Join a Key Site walking tour from the ‘pop-up’ shop to discuss the plan’s proposals. Oct 21,10am-11.30am and Oct 24, 2pm-3.30pm;
- Read the Plan online and comment at www.shapingtheheartstroud.org;
- Read the Plan on paper at the Stroud Town Council offices Monday – Friday 10am-12.30pm; Stroud Library Monday to Saturday 9.30am-4pm; The Tourist Information Centre Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm.
The consultation period ends at midnight on 14th November 2015.