Big turnout expected for rally against Rugby’s draft Local Plan

Huge swathes of green space around Rugby are under threat from Rugby's draft Local Plan. NNL-160928-093953001
Huge swathes of green space around Rugby are under threat from Rugby's draft Local Plan. NNL-160928-093953001

The campaign to stop huge swathes of countryside around Rugby being swamped by housing many people say is unnecessary is in full swing.

The official consultation on the new version of the draft Local Plan began on Monday of this week and runs until Friday, November 11.

The umbrella protest group About Turn has been in the forefront of rallying opposition and getting the various protest groups around the area to work together.

Three of the groups - Stop Ashlawn Road Development, the Woodlands Residents’ Association and Stand Against Lodge Farm Village - held a meeting at Dunchurch Village Hall on Wednesday evening.

And this Saturday, October 1, the latter group is staging a big protest against the garden village of 1,500 homes which was one of the surprise additions to the latest version of the Local Plan.

They are inviting all opponents of the plan to turn out at 10.30am for an 11am start at the Grandborough turn off the A45, where the protest signs shown above are situated. Dunchurch and Grandborough MP Jeremy Wright will be there.

Cllr Howard Roberts, Independent Councillor for Dunsmore Ward at Rugby Borough Council has spoken out against the new Local Plan at every stage.

He said of the latest draft document: “If we allow this proposed Local Plan to pass it will give builders the green light to commit development vandalism in the countryside around our historic town.

“The plan is based on indefensible figures and over-
exaggerated claims for Rugby’s housing over the next few years. What we really need is a new look at the projections and a more realistic plan for the future.”

He also lambasted the council’s plans for delivering the housing: “Not only are the plans dangerous for our heritage, they also omit any feasible plans for providing the infrastructure for the 30,000 extra people who the council say we can house.

“Where is the money for new roads, schools or health services? And, as importantly, who will be paying for these necessary components of a growing town?”

Cllr Roberts says he will lead a campaign against the plan from within the council, but also plans to speak with the Secretary of State for Local Government, the Planning Inspectorate and may seek a judicial review over the process for estimating housing numbers.

The draft Local Plan and supporting documents, including the consultation forms, are available at: www.rugby.gov.uk