CAMPAIGNERS in Stonehouse are urging residents to take part in a public consultation on the future of the former Ship Inn site.
Community group ShIPS – Ship Inn Project Stonehouse requested a consultation on the canalside plot of land afterstated an interest in placing affordable housing there.
ShIPS members say the piece of land off Bristol Road, which was previously the site of a pub, is key for the town to make the most of the canal.
The chair of Stroud District Council’s housing committee has now confirmed that the site has been earmarked for housing.
But campaigners say all is not lost, and are now calling on resident to have their say on the future of the vacant plot in a community consultation being run by Stonehouse Town Council.
The consultation, which gives residents the opportunity to say whether they would prefer to see community facilities or housing on the 0.6-acre canal-side plot will run until October 31.
Stonehouse resident Stef Scott said it is important that people take part in the community consultation so that decision-makers are clear about what the town would like to see on the former Ship Inn site.
“I would urge everyone in Stonehouse to come forward and take this opportunity to state their view on this land during Stonehouse Town Council’s community consultation,” she said.
“I also hope that councillors and officers at Stroud District Council listen to the people and use the results to inform their future strategic decisions concerning Stonehouse and this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to become a canal town again.”
Campaigners say they are in no doubt about the importance of the town council’s consultation following the latest meeting of Stroud District Council’s Housing Committee, on September 14, when committee chair Cllr Mattie Ross confirmed current plans for the site.
In a statement, Cllr Ross, who is also a ward councillor for Stonehouse, said that the site has been included in the Housing Revenue Account since March 2016 and that a budget continues to be included in the capital programme for the provision of new build housing.
She said: “The committee’s decision that this site remains part of its new build programme has only been recently reconfirmed and endorsed by full council.
“No final plans for this stretch of canal have been agreed and the council continues to explore the benefits of opening up a wide range of strategic possibilities, with a variety of positive outcomes along this stretch of the canal, including the former Ship Inn site.
“It is expected that a further report on the future proposals for the site and wider area will be brought back to the committee in the spring.”
A Stroud District Council spokesperson said: “We are consulting with all communities along the canal with a view to producing a canal strategy towards the end of this year.
“Stonehouse is at the heart of the canal project, and we are working on ambitious canalside plans for the town which are wider than this Stroud District Council-owned site.
“That means we can ensure all parts of the community’s needs are met, providing affordable housing for local people on the housing waiting list, community facilities for residents and visitors, and opportunities for local businesses as well as enhancing the biodiversity along the canal.
“We welcome Stonehouse Town Council’s engagement with this process and hope its consultation will contribute to delivering the best possible outcomes that includes everyone in the town.”
Take part in the public consultation on the future of the former Ship Inn site via:
Rolling roadshow events are also taking place. People will be able to collect/fill in a consultation form on the following dates/locations:
October 16 | By the Park Oak on Park Estate | 10am – 2pm
October 30 | On the canal by Upper Mills Industrial Estate | 10am – 2pm
The results of the survey will be used to inform Stonehouse Town Council’s response to the wider Stroud District Council canals strategy consultation.