Sites and premises
The Stroud district, with a population of over 116,000, covers an area of approximately 175 square miles in the south of Gloucestershire. Sites and premises range from ultra modern facilities, to restored historic mills and from major industrial sites, covering many hectares, to former agricultural buildings providing space for micro businesses in rural areas.
Stroud District Council’s Local Plan, the first to be adopted in Gloucestershire, highlights the availability of 40 hectares of new employment land. A review of the plan, focusing on the local economy and jobs, has begun with a number of consultation events held across the district. Sites identified for residential and employment growth, in the adopted plan, are already under construction or subject to planning applications. These include the first phase of the 1350 dwelling development at West of Stonehouse, mixed use developments comprising up to 450 dwellings and 10.7 hectares of employment land at North East Cam and up to 300 dwellings, office, industrial and distribution development at Sharpness and up to 930,000 sq ft of commercial floorspace at St Modwen’s Quedgeley East Business Park.
Another site allocated to provide both housing and employment uses is at Brimscombe Port where plans to reinstate the canal basin as part of the Cotswold Canals restoration are being developed. The Homes and Communities Agency have committed £2m to the project with the District Council, who lead on the canal restoration, between Stonehouse and Brimscombe, providing another £1m.
Commercial development continues apace in the district, highlighting the areas excellent communications, well established infrastructure and skilled workforce and its continuing popularity as a location for business growth and investment.
Having completed their move to a new UK headquarters building Sartorius Stedim Lab Ltd has now received permission for a 50,000 sq ft extension, almost doubling the floorspace. This landmark development at Robert Hitchins’ Stonehouse Park, together with the purchase of a sizable plot by another local company, Staitech, only leaves 4000 sq ft of available developable space at this strategic location close to the M5.
Stroud Metal has permission for a new 70,000 sq ft B2/B8 development at Stroudwater Business Park, Stonehouse. Once the company has relocated from its current site in Dudbridge, Stroud, a mixed use development, potentially including a supermarket, will begin. Meanwhile redevelopment of the Bath Road Trading Estate, Stroud will see the refurbishment of industrial floorspace and the addition of a new Aldi store.
In the north of the district, St. Modwen have completed and let two 40,000 sq ft units at their speculative development, ‘Gateway 12’, just south of the Waterwells Business Park, Gloucester. Three other units are under construction and the final unit, to provide 66,000 sq ft of B8 space is in planning.
Following extensive renovations and installation of new, state of the art facilities at the former Berkeley nuclear laboratories, the Gloucestershire Renewable Energy, Engineering and Nuclear (GREEN) centre and University Technical College at Berkeley has welcomed its first cohort of students. Offering courses in digital technologies (cyber security) and engineering, the wider site also offers a range of commercial opportunities, with space for offices, laboratories, engineering workshops, small scale storage and new build facilities. Existing occupiers include WElink, Green Fuels research, Cavendish and Kier.
Further commercial development is also scheduled at Littlecombe in Dursley. Littlecombe Business Park is already home to eight businesses and Stroud District Council has provided funding to develop new units offering 18,350 sq ft of additional business space for sale or rent, in accommodation sizes ranging from 1,300 sq ft to 8,600 sq ft.
On completion the entire Littlecombe development will provide 92 acres of mixed use facilities comprising 450 new homes and apartments, employment space creating local job opportunities, a community hospital and around 40 acres of green open space.