Work to transform a large part of the former Rugby mast site into a new 6,200-home ‘urban extension’ is to start in the autumn following the formal issue of outline planning permission - with the first new homes becoming available next year.
Rugby Radio Station Limited Partnership has agreed planning conditions and a financial agreement with Rugby Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council, paving the way for work to start on site.
The borough council’s planning committee voted in favour of the outline plans at a meeting in January, subject to satisfactory planning conditions and the completion of a ‘Section 106’ agreement – committing the developers to pay for community facilities.
A comprehensive package of measures was agreed on Wednesday, including the building of three primary schools, a secondary school, a health centre, a strategic link road on site and a series of highway improvements.
The outline planning permission includes up to 6,200 new homes, together with commercial space, heritage, green space and a full range of supportive development.
All matters relating to the detail of design have been reserved for future determination, bar changes to a
number of link road junctions.
The partnership, a joint venture involving BT and Aviva Investors and development partner Urban & Civic, plan to build the development in phases over 20 years.
With formal outline planning permission now in place, the developersto start site preparation and ecological works in the autumn, with the first new homes becoming available in 2015.
Graeme Paton of BT said: “The radio station site has been a big part of BT’s history. It has played a leading role in global communications and we are delighted it will continue to signal the growth of Rugby in its new guise as a Strategic Urban Extension.
“With Urban & Civic involved we know it will be in good hands and that the site’s proud history will be reflected in its exciting future.”
Neil McLeod of Aviva Investors said: “Rugby has always been ahead of the game in planning for and shaping its growth and future success.
“Alongside Urban & Civic we can’t wait to get going and strengthen our close working relationship with all those who have an interest in this unique site.”
Cllr Craig Humphrey, leader of Rugby Borough Council, welcomed the formal issue of outline planning permission for the development. He said: “The council has put sustainable growth at the top of its agenda and bringing the Rugby Radio Station site into use is a major step forward for the borough.
“We have worked closely with the Rugby Radio Station Limited Partnership for a number of years to make sure these are the right plans for Rugby, and I’m delighted we’re now in a position to move forward with the development.
“When these new homes, associated infrastructure and employment sites are complete the borough will become an even more attractive place to live, work and visit, with all the additional benefits that will bring to Rugby.”
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