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We’re progressing plans to create a new waterside community


Stroud District Council has worked with partners to develop a vision to breathe new life in to a former industrial site that will see the creation of a vibrant new community with more than 150 homes and bring a historic canal basin back to its former glory.

Briscombe Port in the heart of the Golden Valley was once a bustling inland port which could cater for 100 vessels – but since the 1950s the canal and basin were filled in and the industrial buildings which followed are now decaying and need replacement.

The council wants to work in partnership with a developer to create a sustainable community which fits in with the existing surroundings, while preserving important heritage buildings such as the Listed stone-built Port Mill and Salt Warehouse, on the brownfield site.

“This is a great chance to build a distinctive community with energy efficient homes, enhance biodiversity with new habitats, create open spaces, enhance green travel routes, and play an important part in the restoration of the canal between Brimscombe and Saul,” said Council Leader Doina Cornell.

As well as homes, development of the site can create employment, commercial, retail, leisure, public space, community and business opportunities at a site earmarked as in need of ‘significant regeneration’ by Stroud District Council for many years. In addition to creating more than 20 moorings at a destination for boaters and other tourists, the canal basin would help address flooding too.

The Council is the lead development partner in the Cotswold Canals Connected project – by 2023 a nine mile stretch of canal between Saul and Thrupp is expected to be linked to the national inland waterway network, thanks to a recent successful £8.9million bid to the National Heritage Lottery Fund. Brimscombe Port is intended to be the destination at the eastern end of the canal.

Some of the 1960s and 70s industrial buildings have been used creatively on a temporary basis in recent years by social enterprises, charities and businesses, and positive conversations with tenants are ongoing to help them find new premises.

Next week, the Development Control Committee will consider an application for planning permission to build the canal basin and highways infrastructure which will pave the way for a development partner to work with the Council to redevelop the site.

Once the Council has procured a developer partner, a detailed application for the scheme to realise the vision for the site will be prepared and more public consultation will take place before an application is submitted.

“Developing this site should create major benefits not just for the new residents of the site itself but for the community around it,” said Thrupp ward councillor Martin Whiteside. “It’s really important that everyone who lives and works around the Brimscombe is kept informed and has a chance to have their say on this exciting project.

“As it progresses there will be more opportunities for people to contribute on how they want to see it develop.”