Hillmorton campaigns against unwanted homes

Pictured are protesters Anne Dahmash, Glynn Smith, Marilyn Smith and Pauline Woodcock. NNL-160524-185439009
Pictured are protesters Anne Dahmash, Glynn Smith, Marilyn Smith and Pauline Woodcock. NNL-160524-185439009

Outraged Hillmorton residents have launched a campaign against a planning application to build houses on farm land off Barby Lane.

Gladman Developments Ltd wants to build 107 homes on land at Waldings Farm, in addition to vehicular access from Barby Lane, footpaths, cycleways and associated infrastructure.

The development would back onto existing homes on Westwood Road and part of the Ashlawn School playing field – but nearby residents have been fighting back and have objected to the proposal.

Glynn Smith, who lives on Westwood Road, said: “The first issue is that the planning application that’s been made is for land that isn’t included in the borough’s Local Plan. It’s essentially on grade-two agricultural land.”

A spokesperson for Rugby Borough Council confirmed the land in question was designated as countryside in the Local Plan, meaning it has not been earmarked as a potential area for housing.

Glynn added: “We don’t want this to go ahead for several other reasons.

“One of which is the loss of the view of the Rainsbrook Valley.

“Building the houses would mean the wildlife round here would change and we’d also have huge problems in terms of increased traffic, light pollution, doctors’ surgery places, hospitals and school places.

“When you have huge developments like the mast site, developers have to put in schools and medical care.

“But small-scale developments like this one at Waldings Farm will be absorbed into the community as far as the borough and the county are concerned.”

A previous planning application for three houses to be built on land at Waldings Farm was refused back in 2005.

But campaigners said they were concerned that the council was now under pressure to build more homes in Rugby and believe this time, the land could be under real threat.

Fellow resident Marilyn Smith said: “Hillmorton has already got more houses than the roads can cope with, than the doctors can cope with, than we can cope with. And yet they’re still wanting to build more.

“The town is expanding too fast and has outstripped its infrastructure.

“Rugby is bursting at the seams.”

The consultation period closed last week and campaigners will be keeping an eye on when the application goes before the planning committee, expected to be Wednesday, July 6.

Anybody with concerns about the application can get in touch with the Residents for the Preservation of Hillmorton to find out more. Email Yousef Dahmash at: yousefdahmash@gmail.com