Council backs changes to Rugby's Local Plan

Rugby's town hall.
Rugby's town hall.

The borough’s Local Plan has entered a new round of public consultations with 183 proposed main modifications after the council gave the changes the green light.

Rugby Borough Council held a cabinet meeting on Monday, August 13, which lasted 15 minutes and saw all cabinet members present vote to allow the main modifications to be added to the Local Plan for an eight-week public consultation.

Portfolio holder for Growth and Investment, Cllr Sebastian Lowe, told those at the meeting: “As members will recall , the council’s submitted Local Plan was subject to very extensive examination and a draft Local Plan was submitted.

“An inspector was appointed and hearings took place in January and April of this year.

“During these hearings modifications to the plan were discussed, and officers were tasked with drafting modifications on the closure of these hearings.

“It should be noted, the vast majority of local plans require modification following examination.”

Speaking of the number of main modifications, Cllr Lowe referred to the 174 main modifications for Nuneaton and Bedworth. Although the figures for the next nearest two plans, Stratford with 92 and Warwick with 75, were not mentioned.

Cllr Lowe described the main modifications as “absolutely necessary” to ensure the government inspector finds the plan legally sound.

Cllr Lowe added: “It is entirely right and proper that the views of the public be sought on these modifications, and that a full consultation take place in order to ensure that we arrive at a Local Plan which meets our needs, allows us to meet our targets and satisfies the residents of this borough.”

Cllrs Crane, Garcia and Lawrence were not present.

Two councillors from opposition groups expressed their concerns

Lib Dem group leader Cllr Jerry Roodhouse asked if Rugby Council’s traffic sustainability report, which has been criticised by some campaigners, will be considered alongside a county council report.

He said: “One [question] is around Warwickshire County Council’s traffic sustainability and transport strategy, which is still somewhere in the ether... I believe that will become stronger and firmer.

So will you be bringing that in for separate consultation?”

Cllr Lowe said Cllr Roodhouse should raise those concerns at the consultation.

Labour group leader Cllr Claire Edwards expressed concern over secondary school provision at Coton Park.

She believes a stipulation in the plan, that the council would wait 24 months before examining the need for more places, is a waste of time. She said schools are at capacity now.