Controversial new road in Rugby given planning approval - The Rugby Observer

Controversial new road in Rugby given planning approval

Rugby Editorial 8th Mar, 2024 Updated: 12th Mar, 2024   0

A CONTROVERSIAL new main road in Rugby has been given planning approval.

Plans for the proposed one-and-a-quarter mile Homestead Link Road (HLR), linking Cock Robin Wood and Coventry Road in Dunchurch, have been approved by Rugby Borough Council’s Planning Committee.

The road, which includes a landscaped green space corridor, is designed to support the forthcoming 4,000-home South West Rugby Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE), known as Homestead View.

Homes England says the road will provide an alternative route to help reduce issues with air quality and peak time traffic, particularly at Dunchurch Crossroads.

It will include new junctions connecting it to the existing public highway and other junctions associated with Homestead View.

It will feature a footway and cycleway, low energy LED lighting, drainage ponds, crossing points and safety barriers.

Running alongside it will be a 16-hectare landscaped green space corridor which Homes England says will ‘ensure there is a segregated buffer between the village of Dunchurch and Rugby’.

But the convenor of campaign group Rugby About Turn said: “Rugby Borough Council have rubber stamped a bad design from Homes England.”

Richard Allanach said the council had gone back against its word for voting for a hedge and two mature oak trees along Alwyn Road to be cut down, stopping buses running along Cawston Lane to serve the new development, and failing to provide a wildlife corridor running from Cawston Spinney to Cock Robin Wood.

He added: “Homes England have refused to listen to proposals to save many of the trees along the route.

“They have put forward a cheapskate planting scheme with many species which are totally alien to Rugby. Local species would have been far more likely to support the food chain and provide a healthy ecosystem.

“The planning committee should have insisted on high standards for new developments in our borough. Instead of doing this the planning committee has kow-towed to a bad plan from central government.

“They should be ashamed of themselves.”

A spokesman for Rugby Borough Council said: “The principles of development were established when the council adopted the borough’s current Local Plan in 2019.

“During processing of the planning application, the applicant submitted revised landscaping plans following concerns raised by the council in relation to the proposed tree species.

“These revised plans significantly increased the number of oaks and native species proposed, and reduced the numbers of non-native species.

“No objection was received from the county ecologist in relation to the creation of a wildlife corridor. The wildlife buffer proposed as part of the application will also provide significant biodiversity gains.”

Ben Frodsham, Head of Planning and Enabling at Homes England, said: “This planning approval allows Homes England and its partners to deliver key elements of new road and drainage infrastructure early, and allow for the planting of new and replacement trees, hedgerows and habitats.

“This strategy helps us provide more certainty to the local community that concerns raised at public consultation events can respond positively.”

Construction of the HLR is scheduled to start in Summer 2025.


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