Stroud canal community unlocks next step
By Rob Freeman | 26th February 2021
Plans to turn a former inland port into a waterside community have taken a step forward with the approval of infrastructure works.
Stroud District Council's development control committee delegated authority for officers to grant permission for a canal basin and highways infrastructure at Brimscombe Port.
The approval means the council can work towards finding a development partner to create more than 150 new homes in a sustainable development with employment, commercial, retail, leisure, public space, community and business opportunities.
Council leader Councillor Doina Cornell said: "This is an important development for Brimscombe, the Golden Valley and the wider district.
"Our vision is for 'an exemplar and sustainable community, integrated with the existing surroundings' and now we want to find a developer to work with so we can make this a reality.
"We hope to move ahead soon to procure a development partner who will work with the council and other stakeholders so we can come up with the right design."
Discussions are continuing to help existing tenants of the remaining industrial buildings, which include social enterprises, charities and businesses, to find new premises.
The next step will be to procure a developer partner with a detailed planning application preceded by more public consultation with future plans for cycle provision addressed.
Councillor Martin Whiteside, who represents the Thrupp ward, said: "The next steps will be critical in achieving the sort of development we want in the heart of our community.
"Timing will be important to minimise the period the site is unoccupied.
"We need to understand the financial and physical constraints of a narrow brownfield waterside site - but also realise the opportunities. Nature, sustainable travel, community facilities and energy efficiency will all be important."
The permission included the reinstatement of the canal from Bourne Mill to Goughs Orchard lock and a new basin, a new access road off the A419, bridge works on Brimscombe Hill to enable a canal and river crossing and the demolition of units on the Brimscombe Port Business Park and industrial estate.
Read more about the regeneration of Stroud's waterways in the latest Punchline online magazine.
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