Plans to build retirement village on Oakfield Rec submitted

The plans.
The plans.

Plans to build a retirement village on Oakfield Recreation Ground have been submitted.

The much-loved space on Bilton Road has been closed to the public since 2016, and now developer McCarthy & Stone has submitted plans to build a retirement village on the site.

The proposal, which is not part of the borough's Local Plan, would see the construction of 62 apartments, 14 bungalows, communal facilities, vehicle access from Bilton Road car parking, landscaping, footpaths, public open space and 'associated infrastructure'.

The park is owned by the Heart of England Cooperative Society and was previously leased by Rugby Borough Council when it was used as an open space for residents.

However the Co-op fenced off the site in June 2016 and refused to enter discussions on a new long-term lease after being turned down for planning permission earlier in that year to build houses on the site.

The Co-op has repeatedly rejected offers from Rugby council to buy the land.

Residents and local politicians have previously voiced their opposition to both the closure of the park and any plans to build on the land - arguing the space is an asset to the community.

But the Report on Open Space Matters which was included in the planning application states the public's use of the park was 'generally low key' - with the exception of the children's play area and football pitch.

It states: "The recreation ground has historically been used as an amenity open space and recreation area by the local community although the site has never been in public ownership and its use in the latter part of the twentieth century was under license and was never as of right.

"The use of the site (apart from the children’s play area and associated use of the football pitch) appears to have been generally low key in nature, including use by dog walkers."

To view the application in full, visit Rugby council's planning portal here and search for application reference R18/0214.

The plans were submitted on Monday, March 12.

The consultation will last until April 5.

The officer handling the application is Chris Kingham, who can be contacted on 01788 533629 or