Concerned residents in the Ashlawn Road and Hillside area of Rugby are fighting back against plans to build up to 1,000 new homes on open countryside.
Hundreds of people attended a public consultation on Tuesday, while plans are underway to launch a petition to stop the homes from being built.
David Wilson Homes and Marrons Planning held the exhibition at Rokeby Primary School on Tuesday where members of the project team were there to answer any questions and show people the plans.
They are proposing to build an ‘urban extension’ consisting of 1,000 homes and a primary school on land between Ashlawn Road and the Hillside estate, close to the landmark water tower.
Hillside resident and former Rugby borough councillor Bill Lewis said: “This is a speculative development application which, from the direction of the residents of Hillside, is obviously not required. The fields between Hillside and Ashlawn Road are rich in wildlife and we would be losing all of that and there would be traffic problems with extra traffic on Ashlawn Road and Dunchurch Road. There are drainage issues as well and the fact that the population is increasing and services in Rugby are decreasing such as the A&E closing at the hospital.”
Mr Lewis added: “I will be doing whatever I can to ensure it does not go ahead.”
The plans also include public open space and an existing pond at the centre of the development . The developer said it would be looking to maximise opportunities for people to walk and cycle in the area.
Two access points would be created from Ashlawn Road, while David Wilson Homes said that it would respect the “setting and amenity” of neighbouring houses, minimise the impact on existing hedges and trees, and accommodate surface water run-off on the site.
Glenda Allanach, one of the members of the public who attended who exhibition, said: “It’s actually very difficult to follow. The pictures are very nice but there’s not a lot of technical data so I’d like to know what sort of proportion of affordable housing there is going to be and just how they propose to do it and how long it’s going to take.
“It looks huge, which will have a huge impact on Rugby.”
Another resident, Anthony Rogers, said: “I’m concerned about the flooding with water draining off the fields. Myself and my two neighbours have had to build a dam because nobody will take any notice of us and the water floods through into the garden.
Hillside resident Nick Price, whose house backs on to the site, said: “The presentation was smart and slick with a map showing the proposed growth of Rugby connecting Ashlawn to Dunchurch through to Cawston, carefully omitting the 7,500 new homes on the M6 Gateway site and mast site to the north and east of the town”
David Wilson Homes said there is a continuing need to provide new homes within the borough.
Rugby Borough Council has said that Government’s latest planning policies stipulate it has to achieve an annual housebuilding target and identify enough land for the next five years. If it misses those targets, it has to consider any planning applications submitted to it.
Residents are planning to launch a petition. A Facebook group has also been set up called ‘Ashlawn Road’, which members of the public can join.
David Wilson Homes is proposing to submit a planning application to Rugby Borough Council in the summer.
Carrick Casson-Crook, Strategic Land Director for David Wilson Homes said: “This first stage consultation session was well attended by over 250 people. We will now evaluate all feedback received and consider the responses as we develop our proposals for the site.”