Residents feel ‘left in the dark’ about housing on old Rugby College site

Bellway Homes is building 131 homes
Bellway Homes is building 131 homes

A housing development on the old Rugby College site has not seen developers flouting planning conditions regarding the protection of trees, said Rugby Borough Council.

And the site in Lower Hillmorton Road was inspected by an officer last week and there had been no breaches of planning permission, said the council.

Bellway Homes is building 131 homes and denied claims that nearby residents had been kept in the dark about work.

But Lib Dem councillor Jerry Roodhouse, whose Paddox ward covers the Rugby College site, said Bellway should have organised meetings with residents and the area’s councillors to explain its plans more.

He said: “I would have expected a professional building firm to put leaflets through doors explaining what’s happening and engage more with the councillors for the area.

“Bellway has not replied to my emails where I have raised concerns about the trees.”

Council development spokeswoman, Cllr Heather Timms, said a planting scheme agreed with Bellway meant there would be an extra 50 trees after work is finished, adding: “The council has worked closely with Bellway throughout the planning process to ensure as many trees as possible are retained on site.

“We have a record to be proud of on both protecting and planting trees. We have planted thousands in recent years and our arboriculture team works hard to safeguard our trees for the future.”

Bellway said it bought the site with outline planning permission, which already de-tailed that some of the trees would have to be removed and a plan which showed which trees were to be retained was la-ter granted detailed approval.

A Bellway spokeswoman said: “As part of this process, there was ample opportunity for consultation, comment and feedback, with local residents contacted directly by the council by letter during the consultation period in November.

“The agreed trees to be retained are the subject of protection work. We have planned the new development with an area of open public space where some of these retained trees will have a prime position.”