Plans to build thousands of homes in Rugby

Editorial image
Editorial image

Rugby Borough Council is unveiling how it intends to accommodate an extra 12,400 homes in the borough over the next 15 years.

Extending Rugby to the south west around Bilton and Cawston, a major development at Coton Park East, a new village on the edge of Coventry and more houses in villages have been identified as potential sites for around 8,500 homes. The Rugby Radio Site and land at Coton has already been earmarked to take the majority of the rest of the houses.

The proposals, along with other major strategies for the future development of the borough, are laid out in the council’s local plan ‘preferred options’ document.

The document will go to a meeting of Rugby Borough Council next week with a recommendation that councillors allow residents, parish councils, developers and other partners to have their say on which land should be allocated for housing and employment, and how those sites should be prioritised.

If approved, the public consultation will start on December 14 and will run until February 5 next year.

The preferred options listed have been based on two consultations that ran in the summers of 2013 and 2014, and a call for sites that was completed earlier this year.

Amongst other measures, the preferred options for consultation include:

> An urban extension to the south west of Rugby with associated infrastructure, including transport, education and health care facilities.

> Additional housing and employment development at Coton Park East.

> Allocation of around 100 homes at each of the main rural settlements of Binley Woods, Brinklow, Long Lawford, Ryton on Dunsmore, Stretton on Dunsmore, Wolston, and Wolvey, subject to suitable sites being available.

> A new village south of Walsgrave Hill Farm, to the east of the A46 opposite the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire.

> Removing two small sites from the green belt, at Long Lawford and at the M6 junction 2, on the basis that they no longer meet the requirement for being classified as green belt.

The total number of houses that Rugby Borough Council has been told to find has increased by 2,8000 as, like other Warwickshire councils, it has to take on an unmet shortfall from Coventry.

Work with other Warwickshire councils has shown that to meet the council’s duty to cooperate under the national planning framework the borough will need to provide 5280 new homes by 2022, and 7119 new homes between 2022 and 2031.

The document also sets out how planning policy could support economic interests such as rural businesses, tourism, and Rugby town centre, along with health, open space and biodiversity, while also protecting heritage sites and buildings of architectural significance.

Cllr Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for planning, said: “Rugby has already made major allocations of land at the Rugby Radio Station site, in Cawston and at Coton.

“These sites show that there is real benefit in having a clear vision of how we want Rugby to develop and grow. By taking this approach we have been able to insist on a planning process that has made full provision for primary and secondary schools and also for transport and health services.

“Councillors now have the opportunity to ask residents, parish councils and other partners how they think we should allocate future development sites, and whether we should consider any other sites that have yet to come forward.

“By taking this approach and allocating these sites now we will be able to create new, high quality settlements that are supported by education and leisure facilities, while protecting those sites that we want to keep in their current use, be that employment or open countryside.”

If councillors approve the preferred options document for consultation, it will be amended taking into account the consultation feedback.

If those changes are agreed, it will be submitted to a Government planning inspector for approval. If it passes, councillors will then vote to adopt it as the borough’s local plan - the blue print for future development.

More information on the local plan and the preferred options document will be available at www.rugby.gov.uk/planning from December 9.