Concerns over green areas on Rugby’s mast site

Cllr Neil Sandison: "This is not acceptable"
Cllr Neil Sandison: "This is not acceptable"

Concerns are being raised about the future use of open green space in the vast new housing development on Rugby’s former mast site.

Work on the 6,200-home scheme is due to start in the coming weeks – and two councillors are calling for land not used by developers to be transferred to public ownership.

They claim it is currently unclear whether the borough council will have control over the green spaces – and that natural habitats may suffer as a result.

Cllr Neil Sandison (Lib Dem, Eastlands) said: “This is not acceptable.

“Rugbeians need assurances and well-thought-out agreements with a viable long term habitat management plans with the developer that this land is available for all to enjoy for generations to come.

“The land abutting the Oxford Canal corridor should form part of a wider country side parkland setting in line with the requirements of the national planning policy framework and be on a landscape scale.”

Cllr Jerry Roodhouse (Lib Dem, Paddox) added: “We should seek to ensure that Rugby residents benefit by getting green lungs and corridors in this development that are in full public stewardship. The council is in my view best placed to do this . If Rugby is to be the fastest growing town in the Midlands then the council and developers have a responsibility to ensure that there is a sustainable balance in delivering housing growth alongside maintaining a quality environment for all the people of Rugby to live in now and into the future.”

Responding to the concerns, a borough council spokesman said: “It’s always important to make sure new communities have enough quality open spaces in the right places, and the planning committee considered this when granting outline planning permission. The developers have signed a legal agreement that will make sure open spaces benefit the new residents, existing residents and also existing and proposed wildlife habitats, including next to the canal.

“These have been secured regardless of the management arrangements, which will have to be approved by the council before any new residents move in. We are open to new and innovative management arrangements but will make sure that whatever arrangements are decided offer good value for money for Rugby taxpayers.”