The Neighbourhood Plan sets out the community’s views on the development and use of land in their neighbourhood, so consultation with the community at all stages is an important part of the process.
Consultation throughout the process of creating the plan is set out in full in the following documents, including the six week period of consultation, from 1st July 2016 to 12 August 2016, on the pre-submission draft of the Stonehouse Neighbourhood Development Plan under Regulation 14 of the Neighbourhood Planning General Regulations.
Please see these links for information on:
An initial on line residents survey carried out in January to February 2014 was completed by 95 people.
On 10th May 2014, the working group, supported by a Locality/Community Development Foundation grant, ran their first public consultation event at Stonehouse Town Hall, attended by 64 people. The aim was to inform the community about the Neighbourhood Plan and find out what issues they wanted the Plan to address. Thirty seven comment forms were returned and people also provided comments on post it notes.
Summary findings from consultations on issues
What people like about Stonehouse:
Friendly community with good town centre facilities for shopping, health care, education and recreation. Good location, good transport links, flat walking and cycling and access to the countryside.
What people don’t like about Stonehouse:
Too much through traffic on High Street, congestion from motorways and factories, parking on High Street; lack of choice on High Street, lack of night life; disused buildings and sites; concern regarding threat to library and loss of amenities.
How people would like to see Stonehouse develop:
To see the town develop as a vibrant, thriving place with a range of shops, links to the canal and green spaces and a strong friendly community. Less rubbish, improvements to dilapidated buildings.
- Housing: Affordable housing, starter homes, housing for the elderly and those with mobility problems should be provided. Housing should have good access to town and transport.
- Economy: Support for small businesses, jobs and apprenticeships for local people and re-opening Bristol Road station. Better cycle routes and footpaths between town and industrial sites.
- Environment: Green spaces popular; should be conserved.
- Amenities: Better variety of shops; more community facilities, play areas and a swimming pool needed.
- Transport: More/improved cycle paths, more public transport.
Vision and objectives
A second major consultation event was held at Park Junior School on 5th July 2014, as part of Stonehouse Community Partnership Arts Festival. The aim was to seek further information on issues raised at the first consultation to assist with drawing up a draft vision and objectives. Twenty three comment forms were completed.
A draft vision and set of objectives was drawn up based on analysis of consultation responses carried out by Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (GRCC).
Consultation on the draft vision and objectives took place through the Town Council website from September 2014, at an Investigating Stonehouse event, Good Will Fest 2014 and through an on line survey (December 2014 to January 2015) which received 40, largely positive, responses.
The group used the Vision and Objectives developed through consultation to inform the next stage of work, policy development.
The Vision and Objectives were formally agreed by Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Group at a meeting of 26 November 2015 and further refined after comments were sought from Stroud District Council and an independent planning consultant.
A summary of the consultation results from May 2014 to September 2014 organised by theme (Amenities, Transport, Development and housing, Employment and Environment) was prepared by a Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Group member.
The working group developed policies under the theme areas of Amenities and Facilities, Economic Development, Environment, Housing and Getting Around. Policy development work was informed by consultation findings, evidence and research and local and national planning guidance. Assistance with drafting policies was received from a planning consultancy, Stuart Todd Associates and paid for with a grant from Locality.
Consultation with groups
The working group has consulted with local youth clubs, Stonehouse Community Partnership Schools Group, the British Legion (results within Stonehouse_Neighbourhood_Plan_Consultation_Results_to_Sep_2014_by_Theme), Maidenhill School Council, Wycliffe College, local businesses, (business event attendance list), GFirst LEP (the Local Enterprise Partnership for Gloucestershire), Stonehouse Children’s Centre and Stonehouse History Group.
Public consultation on emerging policies
On 17 October 2015, the group held a Neighbourhood Plan Update public consultation event to gather views on emerging policies. Around 70 people attended and there was a largely positive response to the policy ideas displayed.
The following bodies were consulted on emerging policies and their responses used to shape the draft Neighbourhood Plan policies.
Stroud District Council
Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Group received a range of help, advice and comments from Stroud District Council during the development of the draft Neighbourhood Plan, including:
View the Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Submission draft