skip to content

The Progress of Stonehouse Neighbourhood Development Plan: from Area Designation to Adoption

Stonehouse Town Council and members of the community have prepared a statutory Neighbourhood Development Plan for Stonehouse under new powers granted by the government (the Localism Act 2011). Neighbourhood Development Plans give communities direct power to plan the areas in which they live - but they relate only to the use and development of land in their area.

Work to develop a plan for Stonehouse took place between September 2013 and March 2016 and concluded with a referendum on 23 November 2017 when 85.2% of electors casting a vote, voted to accept the plan. The turn-out for the referendum was 10 per cent.

Stroud District Council formally adopted the plan on 22nd February 2018. It is now a statutory planning document that can be used when the District Council decides planning applications within Stonehouse.

A neighbourhood planning working group made up of residents and town councillors oversaw the development of the Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan.

Stonehouse neighbourhood plan was supported by Stonehouse Town Council and has received grant assistance from Community Development Foundation   and Locality.

What is a Neighbourhood Plan?

Neighbourhood planning is a new way for communities to decide the future of the places where they live and work.

The government has introduced the community right to do neighbourhood planning through the Localism Act.

General regulations governing neighbourhood planning came into effect in April 2012.

Regulations on the referendum stage came into force in August 2012.

Neighbourhood development plans or orders do not take effect unless there is a majority of support in a referendum of the neighbourhood.

They also have to meet a number of conditions before they can be put to a community referendum and legally come into force. These conditions are to ensure plans are legally compliant and take account of wider policy considerations (e.g. national policy).

The conditions are:

  1. they must have regard to national planning policy
  2. they must contribute to the achievement of sustainable development
  3. they must be in general conformity with strategic policies in the development plan for the local area (i.e. such as in a Local Plan)
  4. they must be compatible with EU obligations and human rights requirements.

An independent qualified person then checks that a neighbourhood development plan or order appropriately meets the conditions before it can be voted on in a local referendum. This is to make sure that referendums only take place when proposals are workable and of a decent quality.

If proposals pass the referendum, the local planning authority is under a legal duty to bring them into force. The plan will become a statutory document which will be taken into account when planning applications are considered and planning proposals are made.

Developing Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan

In March 2013 Stonehouse Town Council formed a working group of residents and members to oversee the development of the Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan.

On 12th September 2013 Stroud District Council's Environment Committee approved the Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Area Designation and Stonehouse Town Council as the qualifying body for the production of a neighbourhood plan.

Area Designation Document

Area Designation Plan 

Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Working Group met regularly from July 2013 to October 2017. Meetings, were usually held fortnightly at Stonehouse Town Hall on Thursday evenings, and were open to the public. 

Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Working Group Terms of Reference 

Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Working Group Agendas and Minutes 

From January 2014, the working group carried out public consultation on issues for the Neighbourhood Plan, a vision and objectives and emerging policies. They held consultation meetings with a range of local groups and  collected evidence to support policy development. Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (GRCC) advised on planning public consultations and provided analysis of the results. The working group also gathered evidence relevant to the Neighbourhood Plan.

From July 2015 to March 2016 the group worked on policy development and appointed a planning consultant who provided expert advice on drafting policies for the Neighbourhood Plan.

Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Consultation 

Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Evidence

Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Vision and Objectives

Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan_Emerging_Policies November 2015

A draft plan was approved at the Town Council Annual General Meeting, 23 May 2016. The draft Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan was open to a 6 week public consultation period from 1st July to 12 August 2016.  Responses to all representations were prepared by Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Group. A submission draft of the plan was prepared and approved at a Town Council meeting of 23rd January 2017. The draft Plan and supporting documents were submitted to Stroud District Council in March 2017.

The Stonehouse Neighbourhood Development Plan has been through independent examination. The examiner recommended that the plan, once modified, should proceed to a Referendum. Stroud District Council held a Referendum relating to the adoption of the Stonehouse Neighbourhood Development Plan on Thursday 23 November 2017. Electors voted to accept the plan.

For further information on the progress of Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan from area designation to adoption; and to view the referendum version of the Stonehouse Neighbourhood Development Plan, please see Stroud District Council’s website.

Community Involvement

Whilst members of Stonehouse Town Council were closely involved in the working group, it is important to emphasise that this was a community project. The working group welcomed the involvement of all residents, local groups and businesses. If you would like any further information about the Neighbourhood Plan please contact Rachel Russell, Committee Clerk, on committeeclerk@stonehousetowncouncil, 01453 822070 or drop into the Town Hall.

Further Information

DocumentDate UploadedTypeSizeDownload Link
Application for Proposed Neighbourhood Plan Area July 11, 2013 PDF 66.5kb Download File
Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Designated Boundary July 22, 2013 PDF 471kb Download File
SDC Environment Committee Report - Neighbourhood Designation September 12, 2013 PDF 91kb Download File
Stonehouse Designated as a Neighbourhood Area September 12, 2013 External 61kb Download File

Stonehouse Neighbourhood Plan Working Group Terms of Reference

May 23, 2014 PDF 48kb Download File

Other Documents Supporting the Neighbourhood Plan

Stonehouse Design Statement - 2005:

This document sets out to explain how the requirements of Stroud District Council’s Local Plan (2005) may be applied to Stonehouse. Its key message is that any development should be in keeping with its immediate surroundings.

DocumentDate UploadedTypeSizeDownload Link
Stonehouse Design Statement December 05, 2013 PDF 2mb Download File

Stonehouse Community Plan - 2008 

Stroud District Council - Planning Strategy including the Stroud Local Plan 

Further Information

The Department for Communities and Local Government have published a set of resources that local Parishes will find further information regarding Neighbourhood Plans:

Further information can also be found here:

Get In Touch

Town Hall
High Street
GL10 2NG

01453 822 070

Opening Hours:

Monday:    09:30 - 12:30
Tuesday:   09:30 - 12:30
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday:  09:30 - 12:30
Friday:      09:30 - 12:30