Building thousands of homes along with new infrastructure could be the way forward for the borough, according to the council’s Local Plan.
The document outlines plans to accommodate 12,400 houses over the next 15 years, including an extra 2,800 properties to make up for a shortfall in Coventry.
As previously reported in the Advertiser, Rugby Borough Council has identified its ‘preferred options’ and is asking for public feedback before the February 19 deadline.
The proposals include 5,400 homes to the south- west of the town, near to Bilton, Cawston and Dunchurch.
The ‘preferred options’ include:
> 855 houses at Coton Park East.
> 5,400 houses in south-west Rugby, near to Bilton, Cawston and Dunchurch, along with transport, healthcare and education facilities
> A southern relief road to ease traffic congestion.
> Up to 150 homes at Coton House, off the A426.
> 100 dwellings each in Binley Woods, Brinklow, Long Lawford, Ryton on Dunsmore, Stretton on Dunsmore, Wolston and Wolvey.
> A new village of 1,500 houses on land south of Walsgrave Hill Farm.
The plans have already drawn criticism and Dunchurch Councillor Howard Roberts has set up a petition against the proposed developments, while Bilton residents held a meeting last night (Wednesday) to air their concerns.
But Cllr Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for economy, development and culture, said the potential developments would provide many benefits for the town.
“The Local Plan is extremely important and that’s why we’re trying to involve everyone in the consultation and get as many responses as possible,” she said.
“It can change and probably will change as a result of the consultation and I am really pleased that people are talking about it.
“There are a lot of developmental benefits for the borough. We have to deliver the appropriate infrastructure alongside these developments and that is key. We have a good record in Rugby when it comes to delivering the right infrastructure and it may not always come at exactly the right time but it is there. If we do this on an incremental level and only add small developments then there isn’t the money for the relevant infrastructure, so it’s important that we do this right in order to provide it.”
Some Advertiser readers have expressed concerns over the potential increased demand on the Hospital of St Cross.
Cllr Timms said: “I think these developments will make the Hospital of St Cross stronger. Rugby is growing and that makes University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire Trust see how important St Cross is and how much demand is here.
“People that want to live in Rugby want to access local services and I believe the Local Plan will support St Cross.”
Cllr Timms added: “We need to meet our five-year land supply so we don’t have developers coming forward and not providing the relevant infrastructure.”
A number of public meetings have been scheduled to discuss the Local Plan.
The meetings are as follows:
> Monday, February 1 - Townsend Memorial Hall, Church Street, Clifton-upon-Dunsmore: 6.30pm to 7.30pm
> Wednesday, February 3 - Clock Towers shopping centre, Rugby town centre: 10am to 2pm
> Thursday, February 4 - Village Hall, Sawbridge Road, Grandborough: 6pm to 8pm
> Saturday, February 6 - Clock Towers shopping centre, Rugby town centre: 10am to 2pm
David Wilson Homes’ application to build more than 800 houses on land off Ashlawn Road was refused by the planning committee last night (Wednesday) on grounds that it would cause traffic problems and air pollution.
But the land has been identified as a potential development site by the borough council’s Local Plan and protest group Stop Ashlawn Road may have another battle on their hands if the land is given the green light.
Stop Ashlawn Road Development chairman, Cllr Bill Lewis, said: “SARD would oppose council plans to build on the site in the future as we believe it is unsustainable due to flooding and issues with the highways.”
Read the plans at www.rugby.gov.uk/planning