Campaigners: Rugby's Local Plan could see more homes built than expected population rise
New statistics reveal that the borough's Local Plan is based on inaccurate population growth predictions and must be reconsidered, said campaigners.
Campaigner Richard Allanach told the Advertiser that fresh population predictions released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in September undermine the plan.
Mr Allanach said the Local Plan relies on figures which suggest that 130,000 will be living in Rugby by 2035.
While stats released by the ONS in September suggest the population in 2035 will actually be 115,000.
The Local Plan sets housing provision until 2031, and the statistics released by the ONS say that, by 2032, there will be an extra 9,000 people living in the borough.
The council has already granted permission for 7,000 more houses to be built in the time leading to 2032.
And if the Local Plan goes ahead in its current state, permission will be granted for an additional 5,000 houses during that time.
This means there could be permission to build 12,000 homes to cover a population increase of 9,000.
Mr Allanach said: “If the Local Plan goes through in its current form we are likely to see two half completed housing estates on the edge of Rugby.
“There will be houses on the Rugby Radio Masts site and houses in South West Rugby but in neither case will enough money have been collected from the developers to pay for the new secondary schools, GP surgeries or other facilities we need.
“To add insult to injury, adopting a housing target which cannot be met because there will not be enough new people to buy the new houses will mean that property speculators will be able to say that the council is failing to meet its housing targets.
“This means that they will be able to continue to say that their own little piece of our countryside should be built over. “
Cllr Lisa Parker, who has long disputed the growth predictions behind the Local Plan, told the Advertiser: “Any fool could have seen that these figures are way off.”
Visit bit.ly/2RlGY7c to view the new ONS figures.
One more day to have your say on modifications to the plan - here's how you can find out more and have your voice heard...
Rugbeians have until tomorrow, October 5, to have their say on the 183 modifications to the Local Plan.
The modifications have undergone an eight-week public consultation – which ends tomorrow.
To follow the latest updates from those campaigning over the Local Plan, visit Rugby About Turn on www.facebook.com/groups/rugbyaboutturn and Save Dunchurch Village on www.facebook.com/savedunchurchvillage. Rugby About Turn has posted useful information on a number of the key modifications to the plan.
Those wishing to make representations are asked to only comment on the modifications currently being considered, providing the modification number when they reach the council.
To see a full list of the modifications, visit bit.ly/2N5HQJE. The modifications can also be viewed at the Town Hall.
To learn how to make a representation, visit bit.ly/2O0JCB3.