Plan for 360 'yuppie flats' in Rugby - will Local Plan force developer to make some of them affordable?

An artist's impression of how the four blocks could look.
An artist's impression of how the four blocks could look.

A plan for 360 ‘yuppie flats’ on the cattle market site will be the first test of the borough’s controversial new Local Plan, a campaigner said.

DPP Planning, on behalf of Cassidy Group (Rugby) Ltd, has submitted an application to build 360 flats on the site, behind Travelodge and off Railway Terrace.

All flats would be privately rented, and built in four blocks of up to six storeys.

Convenor of campaign group Rugby About Turn, Richard Allanach, described the proposal as ‘yuppie apartments’.

He cited the planning documents which state the development would be aimed at: “Younger, mobile professionals who would take advantage of the site’s proximity to employment opportunities in the town centre or railway stations in larger centres.”

Mr Allanach said rules set out in Rugby’s newly-approved Local Plan mean that the council should compel the developer to make around 70 of the flats affordable.

Referring to policy H2 of the Local Plan, Mr Allanach said: “As a development on a ‘brownfield site’ the Local Plan says that twenty per cent of all new homes should be affordable.

“So the planning application should allow for some 70 flats to be offered at an ‘affordable’ rent by a social housing organisation.

“Yet the developer is proposing that all the flats will be privately rented.”

When Rugby’s controversial Local Plan was approved by the council on June 4, those in favour of it argued that, although it is not perfect, it will help the council to stop speculative, piecemeal development and help to secure affordable housing.

Mr Allanach said: “All the cards are now in the council’s hands.

“It both owns the cattle market site and has the power to give or refuse planning permission.

“Councillors must ensure their deeds now match their words.

“All new housing developments should include affordable housing.

“Developers who don’t want to face up to their social responsibilities should have their applications turned down.”

To learn more about the application, click here and search for reference R19/0804.