Former Ship Inn site in Stonehouse could have new future

The site of a former canalside pub in Stonehouse could soon have a new future after councillors agreed to explore new options to develop the site.

The Ship Inn next to the A419 in Stonehouse was demolished in 1997 and has been empty ever since.

But now Stroud District Councillors have agreed to consider non-housing uses for the site.

The site has had a chequered history since the demolition of the pub.

Stroud News and Journal: Land in Stonehouse, site of the former Ship Inn. Photo by Simon PizzeyLand in Stonehouse, site of the former Ship Inn. Photo by Simon Pizzey

Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) had planning permission refused for a pupil referral centre there in 2001 and then in 2002 plans for a residential development by Stroud District Council were upheld after appeal.

But in 2005, GCC donated the site along with two other pieces of land to Cotswold Canals as part of the county’s agreement to contribute land which would benefit the canals project.

Then in 2016, Stroud District Council (SDC) decided to sell the Ship Inn site with the resulting incoming being used on the canal project.

But in 2018, a plan for nine homes was discussed at a SDC meeting and, after much discussion, councillors voted against the development and the application was withdrawn.

Stonehouse Town Council decided to ask residents for their views on the site in October 2021 after the failed attempts to acquire planning permission for the site.

Almost 600 people took part in the consultation and 91 per cent of respondents said they did not want to see council built housing on the site and 95 per cent said they wanted to community facilities there.

At Stroud District Council’s meeting on July 21, councillors backed a motion put forward by Cllr Nick Housden (C, Stonehouse) and amended by Cllr Mattie Ross (L, Stonehouse) to consider alternatives for the site.

Cllr Ross’ amendment was welcomed by Tory group leader Stephen Davies (C, Severn) who said it improved their motion.

Cllr Housden thanked all councillors for their views on the motion and the cross-party support.

He said: “When the pub was first demolished I was seven years old and ever since then that site has sat empty so to get some progress on this site is really important.

“I’m really pleased members across the room can come together and support this.”

As part of the motion, the council agreed to continue to engage with local residents and explore potential future uses of the site.

If the former Ship Inn site is not used for council housing the council has agreed to invest any value from the land into affordable housing for the area.

Officers are expected to present a report with findings and recommendations to the council by the end of spring next year.

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