Step in the right direction for protesters against Ashlawn Road development

Campaigners held a demonstration in Dunchurch to highlight potential increases in pollution
Campaigners held a demonstration in Dunchurch to highlight potential increases in pollution

Campaigners have welcomed news that the Highway Authority has objected to an application to build up to 860 homes on land off Ashlawn Road.

David Wilson, which operates under Barratt Homes, applied for planning permission to build the houses near to Rugby’s water tower but was told to change plans after it was said the application did not address potential traffic issues.

The revised plans were submitted earlier this year but once again the Highways Agency has rejected the bid, stating that the proposed development could contribute to the all ready busy traffic in Dunchurch.

The Highways Authority is a statutory consultee to any planning application in the county and its opinion, based on a development’s potential to harm the highways network, is a fact on which planning authorities, in this case Rugby Borough Council, can frame a refusal on. The objection does not mean the application will not be successful, but campaign group Stop Ashlawn Road Development (SARD) say it’s a step in the right direction.

Bill Lewis, chairman of SARD, said: “The SARD committee agrees whole heartedly with the decision by WCC Development Group to maintain their objection to the application due to concerns about the effect on Dunchurch of the additional traffic which will be generated by the proposal.”

Cllr Howard Roberts, Dunchurch’s independent county and borough councillor, has been co-leading the campaign against the proposed development on the grounds that it would lead to standstill in the road network around his village and also worsen the pollution at Dunchurch’s crossroads.

He said: “I am relieved that the highways officer has listened to our concerns and deemed the application would make the situation in Dunchurch intolerable. It stands to reason our ancient village cannot act as a major route for hundreds of extra cars.

“Whilst the news is positive, we must still continue to make the case against this massive development.”