A CONTROVERSIAL new 1,500-home village near Grandborough will no longer be built after the proposal was rejected by a planning inspector.
Independent government planning inspector Mike Hayden said plans for Lodge Farm village, as well as developments at Brinklow and Coton House, should be removed from Rugby Borough Council’s (RBC) Local Plan.
In a letter setting out his initial findings, Mr Hayden said the changes were needed to make the Local Plan – which earmarks land for future housing and employment with accompanying infrastructure – legally compliant and sound.
He concluded transport to and from Lodge Farm village, earmarked for land south west of the A45 near Grandborough, could not be sustainable.
He added: “It is not apparent that Lodge Farm would support existing surrounding rural communities to any significant extent.
“The development would cause significant harm to the intrinsic beauty and character of the countryside in this part of the borough. It is not required to meet the development or infrastructure needs of the borough.”
He added a proposed 100-home development in Brinklow was not justified as it would “cause harm to the openness and purposes of the Green Belt, as well as to the character of the countryside”, and a similar development at the old Post Office Training Centre at Coton House would have “at least a moderately serious impact on the significance of the historic parkland and listed buildings”.
The loss of new housing at the three sites will be compensated for by expanding proposed developments at Long Lawford and Binley Woods.
Mr Hayden also said additional protection should be given to the Brandon Stadium site, and land should be set aside for two years in case it is needed for a possible secondary school at Coton Park East.
RBC growth and investment spokeswoman Coun Heather Timms said: “Residents, parish councils, developers and other partners have all had the opportunity to make representations to the inspector for independent consideration against the requirements of the town and country planning regulations.
“These initial findings from the planning inspector show that he has considered carefully all of the evidence before him, as was our wish when councillors agreed to submit the plan for examination.
“They are another significant step towards delivering planned, sustainable growth with the supporting roads and other infrastructure that we need.”
Once the wording of the proposed modifications has been agreed with the inspector, they will be the subject of a six week public consultation. Responses will be considered by Mr Hayden when he prepares his final report.
Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/localplan for more information on the local plan, along with a copy of the inspector’s letter to the council.