The first stage of the project was to produce a ‘Feasibility Study’ in order to have a case to put before the Parish, Stroud DC Planners and our chief funders, ‘Locality’. It was necessary to do quite a lot of the preliminary work in order to discover what really was feasible/possible.
We adopted Aster Homes as our partner and we acquired some initial grant money from The Parish Council, the National CLT network and the Government agency ‘Locality’. We chose a site, made outline agreements with the landowner and Aster and employed the expertise of professionals.
We employed a number of specialists to look at the site and identify any issues that might have proved to be either expensive or indeed impossible to resolve. These included a Ground Survey, a Highways report and a Sound survey. The results included a detailed map of the pipes and cables running under the site – of which there are a considerable number! The analysis of the motorway noise and pollution showed that an accoustic fence along the boundary should sufficiently mitigate these.
Our architect drew up a preliminary outline design for the site – having regard to the positions of pipes etc – and some designs for the ‘look’ of the houses.
- There have been several iterations of the basic design in trying to overcome all the problems associated with the underground pipes and also the sound survey profiles. A final design is under discussion will be produced as part of the next stage.
The full Feasibility Report has now been produced, including the preliminary layout, on page 8
Key formal consultation dates were with Stroud DC Planning on 25th November 2016 and March 3rd 2017 and then Parish Council on 13th April 2017
Public ‘Drop in’ sessions were held at the Village hall on Thursday 27th April 2017 and a follow up day with our neighbours at Claypits on Saturday 29th, with generally very favourable comments being made.
What happens next? Following on from the Feasibility Study, there are still some problems to be resolved with the layout, especially concerning the position of the entrance and the motorway sound profiles at various parts of the site. These are requiring some relatively minor adjustments, and some further analysis and discussions with Stroud Planners will form part of the ‘Pre-planning’ work that is to be done before a full Planning Application can be submitted – hopefully in the early months of 2018.
Going forward, we will be working closely with Aster Group, who will eventually find the funding (maybe £2.5 million) and take responsibility for the build phase.
Community consultation began in the 2011/12 Parish Survey, then the 2013/14 Housing Needs Survey and the NDP from 2014 to 2016. ECLT directly involves 100+ members from the community and continues to consult with the whole parish.
We are open to all ideas to improve the scheme and to any concerns parishioners may have, in order to move towards full Planning Application with a concensus which works.
There will be further public consultations, discussions with the Parish Council, with Stroud DC Planners and Gloucestershire Highways and Drainage teams in the Pre Planning phase.
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