Stroud Town Council has now submitted the Neighbourhood Development Plan to Stroud District Council.
It is the first Neighbourhood plan to be submitted to the district council.
Over the past year more than 2,500 people were consulted in the creation of the Neighbourhood Development Plan. It was prepared by an independently chaired Steering Group set up by Stroud Town Council.
The plan has been praised by businesses and organisations including Historic England, the Federation of Small Businesses and the County Council.
“This is a most impressive document – arguably the most impressive of the many Plans in the south west we have seen – not only for the depth, detail of consideration and comprehensiveness of its general scope, but especially for its grasp of what makes the area locally distinctive and how this should both inform, and be respected in, proposals for change,” said an advisor for Historic England.
The draft report focuses on three key themes – making Stroud town centre more welcoming, healthy and thriving.
These include: improving the “gateways” to the town centre, making the streets more cyclist and pedestrian friendly, providing opportunities for more housing and encouraging investment in good quality retail, service and office facilities.
Stroud District Council will now hold another six-week consultation period. It will also 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.
“Hundreds of people have been consulted and a core of volunteers led by Leonora Rozee and Hugh Barton have worked tirelessly on this project. The results we believe reflect a vision for a town centre that is attractive, sustainable and vibrant.
“Unlike previous plans for the town this will have legal force and STC is determined that it is used to help develop the town centre as our residents want to see it.”
The plan will cover the town centre including Merrywalks, the Cheapside area and the main gateways into the town.