As I write this it is clear that the nights are drawing in and the temperature is dropping. For a District Councillor this means going out to Parish Council meetings in the dark rather than those distant Summer Evenings. The other thing about this time of the year is that the amount of activity increases after a slight lull in the Summer. In Eastington with the many planning challenges, it was only a slight lull.
So let’s start with planning.
Over the summer we have seen work start on the road infrastructure for West of Stonehouse, which brings it home the scale of this development. We have also seen a new and improved application from Redrow for the first phase and I am afraid that it still lacks adequate details on the buffer zone although I understand there have been some discussions on this and some progress is being made. The new application has some improvement in the design of the houses but SDC have not yet commented whether the improvement is enough or not. We will continue to work with the Developers and Planners to make sure that the detail work is done to achieve the best possible outcome.
On the Ecotricity application, Highways England, who are responsible for the Motorway Junction have asked for more time to decide and more information as have Gloucester County Council Highways. It now looks as this application will not be decided on until after Christmas but I personally think it is still important to work to challenge the view that this is somehow inevitable, it isn’t and I would encourage you to make your view known on this application to Stroud District Council at www.stroud.gov.uk/environment/planning-and-building-control/planning-applications – search for application ref: S.16/0043/OUT
Finally on planning, the review process for the Stroud District Local Plan will start soon and I would encourage you to have your say as this looks at developments after 2031.
In other matters Stroud District Council have announced that they will be looking to reduce staff by 5% hopefully through natural wastage. With the use of technology to help people access the Council’s services this may be possible but I am concerned that the current administration plan to spend £8m of the Councils Reserves on Social Housing which may only buy 34 additional properties and think we should keep our reserves to protect services.
You may also have seen that the Subscription rooms are being tendered for sale and negotiations with bidders are ongoing. It has highlighted some interesting numbers on the overhead that the Subscription Rooms have to pay to Stroud District Council. A decision on this will probably be made in December.
If you have any questions for your local District Councillor please contact
Stephen Davies at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07802 595 307
John Jones at email@example.com or on 07808 922 918.