THE threat of a new town on the edge of Stonehouse is back.
As a Government-appointed planning inspector scrutinised Stroud District Council’s local plan for around 9,500 homes over the next 15 years, a planning application for 1,350 houses was put in.
Opponents of the plan, dubbed ‘Westington’ criticised the timing, last week.
“It’s disappointing but predictable,” said Councillor Ken Stephens (Lab, Eastington and Standish). “Does it show whether they are interested in the local plan or just what they can achieve by taking advantage of the position they are in?”
Housebuilder Robert Hitchins publicly consulted last Autumn on its vision for 1,500 homes at the site, in Stonehouse, Eastington and Standish.
It’s listed as a contingency site, as the council believes its plan has granted enough permissions and has enough new sites to build 9,500 homes by 2031- but developers argued there could be a need for up to around 14,000 homes.
The inspector could up the number in Stroud’s local plan.
“There are 4,000 permissions outstanding,” said Keep Eastington Rural spokesman Tom Low. “Housebuilders need to be thinking about those sites first."
A spokesman for the developer said: “We are responding to the real need for new homes in Stroud district by bringing forward a scheme that will provide both housing and employment land, helping the district council to meet its objectively assessed need for housing, with the added benefit of real employment opportunities.”