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Stroud District Green Party Respond to Local Plan

Stroud District Council has been carrying out a review of the Stroud District Local Plan, looking towards adoption of a new local plan by 2021/22.

The revised local plan will identify “the housing, employment, retail and community development that is required to meet local needs up until 2031. It sets out the strategy for distributing development within the District and policies for protecting and conserving the natural and built environment.” [1]

Consultations on the plan have been taking place around the area, and a group from Stroud District Green Party have worked over the last few months to develop a collective response to the proposals.

You can read the full paper here, or the executive summary below.

Green Party Response to the ‘Stroud District Local Plan Review – Emerging Strategy’: Executive Summary

Stroud District Green Partly broadly welcomes the overall thrust of the emerging plan and commends the council for the process, evidence base and transparency with which it is conducting this review.

We recognise that democratic input into the plan making process is highly constricted by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), in which central government has concentrated decision making centrally, and left local communities and local government with insufficient powers to develop and protect their local environment. We strongly object to this, but recognise that this plan needs to be compatible with the NPPF.

The current consultation was launched in advance of the District Council declaring a climate emergency and committing itself, alongside other progressive local authorities, to reaching carbon neutrality by 2030. Attaining carbon neutrality by 2030 will have challenging implications for our revised local plan. It will require setting aside sites and policies to encourage significant additional renewable energy generation, including in appropriate locations within the AONB. New houses will need to be future proof and carbon zero, which will also reduce future energy bills and boost our local skills base in low carbon building. Reducing travel and modal shifts in transport will be important, transport needs to have an inbuilt hierarchy, which prioritises those modes of transport with the least greenhouse gas emissions (walking, cycling, buses and trains, as well as enabling the growth of electric vehicles and upcoming new transport technologies). Additional high quality agricultural land will need to be retained for human food production and other land for carbon sequestration.

If well planned all these changes can make our district a cheaper, safer, more attractive, more communal, more biodiverse and resilient place to live.

The Green Party objects to the Tory Government imposed demand that land is allocated for 12,800 additional homes by 2031. We believe this figure has been calculated using a flawed methodology and is undeliverable without significant damage to our environment and communities. We believe that if land is allocated within Stroud District to meet the housing needs of Gloucester City, then this number should be deducted from, rather than additional to, the numbers being forced upon Stroud District Council.

The Council needs more powers to force developers to build on brownfield sites and smaller, affordable homes. We are aware that the greatest need is and will be for both young people and young families as well as an increasing elderly population.

Find out more

You can find out more about the local plan review on the Stroud District Council website.

Local Green Party Councillors are also happy to hear your views on the plan.

Links

[2]: Green Party Response to the ‘Stroud District Local Plan Review – Emerging Strategy’

[1]: Stroud District Local Plan Review Emerging Strategy Paper November 2018

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