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Proposed Canals Strategy for Stroud District

Stroud District Council has prepared a draft long-term vision and strategy for the future use of the canals within the District.
We want your views on its contents to check that we have got it right, before we develop an action plan to deliver it.
Please view the short film below first for an introduction to the Draft Canals Strategy.

What is this about?

The Draft Canals Strategy sets out how the Council, our partners, communities and landowners can work together to deliver improvements to make better use of our canals for culture, recreation and leisure, to support the local economy and to enhance our environment and local wildlife.

The canals include the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal (running from Hardwicke in the north of the District to Sharpness in the south), and the two Cotswold Canals (from Saul Junction in the west, to Chalford in the east).

The intention is to adopt the final Canals Strategy as design guidance to supplement the canal policy ES11 contained within the adopted District Local Plan.

How can I help?

We want your views on its contents to check that we have got it right, before we develop an action plan to deliver it.

The Draft Canals Strategy sets out specific initiatives to be delivered in the short, medium and long term, to improve the canal network, which we have divided up into 14 canal strategy areas. These initiatives include suggested community uses and activities for certain areas, ideas for improving travel and movement along the canals and projects for wildlife enhancement and for people to connect with nature.

It uses the results of a public survey that invited people to share their experience of using the canals in the district.

What will be the benefits of the Strategy?

The strategy will complement and support longer term schemes relating to the Heritage Lottery restoration project that is unlocking a lost section of the Cotswold canals corridor between Saul Junction and Eastington.

The Draft Canals Strategy includes, amongst other things, guidance on design, land uses and transport and potential physical projects for all areas of the canal network. When adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document, canal users, landowners and developers will need to take account of the strategy if they are preparing any plans within the canal corridors which require planning permission.

An effective canals strategy will also provide the platform to make effective future funding bids to Government and other funding bodies.

What do I need to do?

Please look at the material below and send us your thoughts by email or by letter by 27 May 2022.

You can email your responses to: or send your response to: Planning Strategy, Stroud District Council, Ebley Mill, Ebley Wharf, Stroud GL5 4UB.

Please view the following short video which provides an introduction to the material. 

Then read the following document which explains the different parts of the Draft Canals Strategy and asks some key questions which you may want to answer in your response.


What are the Draft Canals Strategy documents?

The Draft Canals Strategy comprises two documents –

Document A: A wallchart summary document, which includes the proposed key interventions (ingredients) for each canal strategy area

Document B: This sets out the key drivers, the profiles and the placemaking frameworks for each of the canal strategy areas

Are there any background documents?

A number of supporting documents have been prepared which provide further information on the Draft Canals Strategy and the process followed: 

  • Evidencing the Strategy – sets out the documentation and stakeholder views which have contributed to developing the strategy
  • Summary of Public Online Survey – sets out a summary of the responses made during the online public survey including key challenges and strengths identified for each of the canal strategy areas
  • Piloting the Strategy in the Wallbridge Area – applies the strategy to the Wallbridge area of Stroud, to both test the appropriateness of the strategy and to design, identify and select ingredients to implement the vision for this particular area
  • Project Delivery Process Tool – a spreadsheet to help identify and select future projects to deliver the strategy

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