Inspector gives Rugby council green light to adopt controversial Local Plan which will see 12,400 new homes

File image, Rugby's town hall.
File image, Rugby's town hall.

An independent inspector has given Rugby council the green light to adopt its Local Plan, a report submitted to the council weeks ago but published today, May 7, reveals.

The Local Plan will see the building of 12,400 homes and the allocation 110 hectares of employment land and more than 8,000 square metres of retail space from now until 2031.

Independent government inspector Mike Hayden has been conducting a series of public examinations and consultations to ensure that the plan is sound - culminating in Rugby council receiving a final report from him on March 27.

But the report was not published, and when the Advertiser contacted Rugby council to ask why, it responded that it was withholding the report until today, May 7, because of the local elections.

A council spokesperson said: "The inspector has written to the council to confirm that he is satisfied that the plan, as modified following public consultation last summer, is robust and meets all of the statutory requirements."

The inspector proposed 183 main modifications to the plan last year - all of which Rugby council approved.

The modifications included the dropped of the Lodge Farm proposal - which would have seen the building of 1,500 homes near Grandborough.

But campaigners and residents said the modifications did not go far enough - campaigner Richard Allanach previously told the Advertiser: "The 183 changes the council is proposing will make it a better plan but not yet a good plan.

“The council is still proposing five thousand extra houses for South West Rugby without showing how the extra traffic can be accommodated, air quality improved or even when the necessary schools will be built."

Cllr Sebastian Lowe, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for Growth and Investment, said: "I am grateful to Mr Mike Hayden, the independent inspector, for the diligent and professional way that he has examined the Borough Plan.

"Residents and other interested parties have had many opportunities to have their say and the inspector has taken account of their contributions.

"We now have a plan for the growth of the borough that meets all of the legal requirements.

"I will be recommending that my colleagues on the council adopt the plan so that we have the best possible opportunity to shape future development."

On June 4 Rugby council will meet to consider whether to adopt the plan.

Click here to see the inspector's report and background documents on the plan.