Housing developer has been given permission to chop down 100-year-old oak tree on Ashlawn Road

Detailed plans for up to 860 new houses on land north of Ashlawn Road in Rugby have been approved even though councillors were unhappy the development would see a 100-year-old oak tree chopped down.

Monday, 9th December 2019, 11:54 am
Updated Monday, 9th December 2019, 11:55 am
The oak tree on Ashlawn Road. Photo: Richard Allanach.

Members of Rugby Borough Council’s planning committee also ordered officers to renegotiate with developers David Wilson Homes regarding the lack of parking provided at four football pitches to be included in the site which will link in to Norton Leys close to the Sainsbury’s store in Bilton.

Outline permission for the site had already been granted so last week’s (December 4) meeting considered access, appearance and layout of the houses.

The main access to the site will be off the B4429 Ashlawn Road and councillors were told that would mean the removal of an oak tree which was in the way of a planned cycle path. An established hedge along the road will also be removed.

Cllr Neil Sandison (Lib Dem Eastlands) said: “This has been a long time in coming and there has been a considerable amount of work done by the local ward councillors and the local residents association to get it to a stage where it becomes a more sustainable scheme.

“But I can’t see why a cycle path cannot go around an existing oak tree without relative ease without having to chop it down.

Cllr Jim Ellis (Lab Newbold and Bromsover) added: “I’d just like to express my concern over the oak tree. It is a significant architectural tree from my perspective. They take about 100 years to grow and while it is fantastic they are putting in more trees, there has already been a big hoo-ha from the local community with regard to the hedge.”

Lack of parking for the pitches was raised by a number of councillors who said they had seen at first hand the problems that could occur in such situations.

Cllr Sandison said he had experienced a similar situation at both Whinfield Rec and the GEC sports ground.

And Cllr Belinda Garcia (Con Revel and Binley Woods) added: “I cannot see any point at all of having four football pitches and having no car park provision at all. It’s asking for trouble for the residents. It seems absolutely ridiculous to me.”

Planner Karen McCulloch said there was nothing that could be done to save the tree because it also affected the visibility at the proposed entrance to the development and was also in the way of drainage works.

But she agreed that an extra condition would be added to the planning permission requesting that a parking area be provided around the edge of the pitches.

Councillors voted five-three to approve the plans.