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Threat of 'Westington' new town on the edge of Stonehouse returns

By Ben_Falconer  |  Posted: April 06, 2014

Comments (2)

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.”

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  • Jayt8937  |  April 08 2014, 1:28AM

    In total agreement. The SDC housing plans have been a joke for 20 years and the only people to blame are local members who have overseen this debacle. They blame the NPPF at the present but at any moment in time over that 20 year period they have always found someone or thing to blame. Look in the mirror!!! Last time round 2000 on Glos City border. This time round another 500 at Hunts Grove and a loss on appeal at Sellars farm bring the total to 2700!!! Add in the ridiculous allocation at Sharpness and the largest allocation 'Windfall' then I cannot see how planning works in SDC. The fiasco of planning and appeals at the moment is because the SDC plan does not comply with legal obligations within the NPPF. Another scapegoat for SDC to blame rather than saying our non-compliance is the problem. To run with a core strategy identifying West of Stonehouse as a viable site, after many years of consultation, then throw it out at the last minute having lost 3 appeals for reasons of numbers is rank stupidity! In all of this argument nobody goes back to the SDC commitment to job creation. At west of Stonehouse you are next door to Strodwater Business park and within the plans are many hectares of Employment land. Sharpness cannot provide viable employment land and NE Cam need to pour in huge infrastructure before they start and have stated they need to build and sell houses first and so the clock will tick. Pray tell me how 750 windfall sites will provide employment. I am afraid the ' Butcher, the Baker and the Candlestickmaker' have much to answer for.

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  • JemmyWood  |  April 07 2014, 12:15PM

    For Stroud local housing plan read 'dump as much on Gloucesters doorstep as possible and keep doing it for as long as possible' I really fail to see what actual arguments there are about building around Stroud and Stonehouse apart from the NIMBY attitude of Stroud council and its local residents. Westingdon should go ahead, stroud council need to take their heads out of their rear ends and think of everyone instead of the Stroud district NIMBYs.

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