Rugby Local Plan’s big day looms - with a twist in store

One of the many Lodge Farm protests. NNL-170620-121654001
One of the many Lodge Farm protests. NNL-170620-121654001

The next big vote on Rugby Borough Council’s Local Plan takes place at The Benn Hall tomorrow evening, Wednesday, at 7pm, open to all.

And in a long-expected twist, Conservative leader of the council, Cllr Michael Stokes, released a statement today, Tuesday, which said Conservative Councillor, Cllr Emma Crane, (Member for the Leam Valley Ward), will move an amendment at the meeting. The amendment will ask Council to consider removing ‘DS10 – Lodge Farm’ from the Local Plan proposals and will be seconded by Cllr Leigh Hunt, (Member for the Clifton, Newton and Churchover Ward).

Cllr Stokes said: “Tomorrow, Council will be considering how land is allocated across the borough for the next plan period. The Conservative Group welcome differing opinions representative of the diverse communities we are elected by. As always, all Conservative councillors will have a free vote on this very important topic. I fully expect members to vote in different ways, using the evidence set out in the report and the debate at the meeting along with how they feel it best serves their wards and the borough as a whole.”

When questioned by the Advertiser about the credibility of the rest of the plan if Lodge Farm is removed at this late stage, Cllr Stokes said: “The Draft Local Plan is sound, produced by highly qualified officers and based on a Central Government framework and local policy which have been tested under public examination. However, if amendments are made by councillors and are within that framework, officers will work with the decisions made.”

Lodge Farm is only one element of a plan for the period to 2031, the overall provision of housing potentially being more than 15,000 homes.