‘Big victory’ for Hillmorton group after council throws out plans for 220 houses near Barby Lane

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A Hillmorton campaign group is celebrating a ‘big victory’ after 10 Rugby councillors voted unanimously to refuse planning permission for two applications to build a total of 220 homes in Barby Lane near Rains Brook Valley.

The plans would have seen the building of 107 houses on land at Waldings Farm and 113 houses opposite on land east of Barby Lane and south of Fellows way.

They were brought before Rugby Borough Council’s planning committee on Wednesday, July 26, before being rejected on the basis they would damage the landscape.

Pauline Woodcock of Westwood Road, a founding member of the Association For The Preservation Of Hillmorton, said: “I’m absolutely delighted there are 220 houses that are not going to be built on the valley, which is a wonderful landscape and the best approach to Rugby.

“The plans would have been devastating. We already have a lot of traffic from the school and the distribution centre, this development would have made the traffic unbearable.

“There are very few school places in the area, the hospital is jammed full and there is no doctor’s surgery nearby.”

A spokesman for Taylor Wimpey, which made the application to build 113 houses east of Barby Lane, said: “We are disappointed with the council’s decision to refuse our application for new homes on land off Barby Lane.

“However, we remain confident that our proposal is a high-quality one and we are currently reviewing our options for this site.”

The application for 107 houses at Waldings Farm, brought forward by Gladman Developments Ltd, was a modified version of an application which was unanimously rejected by the Planning Committee in 2016 and was again dismissed on July 5 this year following an appeal.

Cllr Jill Simpson-Vince, who chaired Wednesday’s meeting, said: “It was the right result for Rugby, both applications were in an area we had not considered in our local plan.

“In this case the landscape was a key consideration - the development would have had a detrimental impact.”

Cllr Yousef Dahmash, who has been involved with the Association For The Preservation Of Hillmorton, said: “I was obviously delighted at the unanimous decisions by the planning committee to refuse the applications for Waldings Farm and the land on the opposite side of the road to the east of Barby Lane.

“Refusing these inappropriate, speculative and unsustainable applications was absolutely the right thing to do and I know so many local residents are grateful to the councillors on the committee who have stood up to the developers and protected the cherished countryside on the cusp of the Rains Brook Valley.”

“There are other speculative developers circling our local countryside with similar proposals but they should now think again about submitting their applications.”

Cllr Jerry Roodhouse, who previously objected to the plans, said: “I’m happy with the result, The next task is to secure the valley and its view from any more speculative plans, it is the last green belt site in that area.”

Gladman Developments Ltd were contacted for comment.