The Story of Stroud Preservation Trust Plans, protest and positive action
Stroud Preservation Trust's founders met in 1980 at protests to save a swathe of decaying listed buildings at 57-62, High Street. At that time the High Street was choked with traffic and blighted by empty and derelict buildings.
Some of the blight was caused by decaying listed buildings, compulsorily purchased by the County Council in the 1960s so they could be demolished to make way for a controversial proposed ring road. Stroud Preservation Trust's first project was one of these buildings.
A hard fought campaign against the ring road culminated in a Public Inquiry in 1976 where the Planning Inspector found there was no case to demolish listed buildings to make way for a road he described as an “environmental disaster”. It was not until the mid 1980s that a new route, Dr Newton's Way, was agreed and built and the High Street became pedestrianised.
In the Summer of 1980, a group of campaigners went to great lengths to save 57-62, High Street from demolition with roof top sieges, processions round town and High Court action. From this crucible of protest, Stroud Preservation Trust was born and its first project was on the High Street. The Trust were very fortunate to work with an inspiring architect, the late Richard Feilden of Feilden Clegg Design Partnership who steered us through our first 5 major projects.
Our 30th anniversary exhibition brochure (2012), “Putting the Roof Back On” gives much more information about all our projects and the exciting story of Stroud Preservation Trust's foundation.
Since 2012 Stroud Preservation trustees have been involved in setting a planning Strategy for the Cheapside Area and for moving forward, consulting on and writing Stroud Town Council’s Neighbourhood Development Plan. Other projects have included developing a Local List of admired non-listed buildings in the town centre; lobbying on behalf of buildings of concern, moving on the Brunel Goods Shed to Stroud Valleys Aartspace and working with our other lease holders to encourage them to buy their freeholds.
If you would like to buy a copy of “Putting the Roof Back on” (£6) or SPT’s other book – Stroud; a Town Changed by Community Action” (£12.50) , please send a cheque to Stroud Preservation Trust, 6 Castle Villas, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 2HP.