Not dancing to tune of 'well-homed' protesters
SITES for between 2,700 and 5,000 new homes are needed in Stroud district by 2031.
A special meeting of Stroud District Council on Wednesday agreed fresh targets for homes for the council's new local plan.
A housing requirement of between 9,260 and 11,500 homes was agreed.
Most of these have already been built or given permission, so a minimum of 2,725 or maximum of 4,965 new homes will now need to be built in the next 20 years, depending on the economic climate.
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Sites will now need to be found for the homes, although pressure group Don't Strangle Stroud fear a major housing estate will be built west of Stonehouse.
The council's executive member for planning Councillor Dennis Andrewartha said there was a clear need for more homes in the district
"We are failing to meet the aspirations of the people we represent. Whether its the 3,000 people on the waiting list or the young people who want to buy starter homes, we know there is a demand for new homes.
"For us to dance to the tune of a pressure group, many of whom are well-housed, while many in the district seek a home, is not democratic."
A Conservative amendment to reduce the target range by 2,000 was rejected.
Conservative Coun Rhiannon Wigzell proposed the amendment saying that a "reality check" was needed.
"This is the biggest decision any of us are likely to be asked to make and will affect people over the district more than anything else we will decide on," she said.
Her amendment was supported by the Conservative group but was rejected by the alliance administration.
"I'm disappointed but not surprised," said Richard James, chairman of the protest group Don't Strangle Stroud.
In February, plans for 3,200 new homes to be built by 2026 in six key areas were revealed. They represented the portion of the former target of 9,350 which had not already been built or had permission. But since February, the political leadership of the council has changed from Conservative to an alliance of Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green which has decided to revise the Local Plan.