Council planners: our blueprint means Rugby's roads will cope with extra housing - The Rugby Observer

Council planners: our blueprint means Rugby's roads will cope with extra housing

Rugby Editorial 27th Jan, 2016 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

PLANNING bosses at Rugby Borough Council (RBC) have defended their blueprint for the next 15 years of Rugby’s housing, insisting it is the best way to ensure the town is supported by new roads, schools and surgeries.

They also warned failing to adopt the plan would mean the Government would intervene and dictate where houses are built in the Borough.

An early draft of RBC’s Local Plan earmarks land for development up to 2031, and the Council is urging residents to have their say.

Council planning spokeswoman Coun Heather Timms said it was key that people looked at how it affected them.




She said: “I don’t really want national government coming in and telling people in Rugby where the development should happen.

“I think people want to know more detail, and what the implications are for infrastructure. Their children and grandchildren will want homes and jobs in the borough.”


Rob Back, RBC’s Head of Planning and Recreation, said infrastructure was much more likely to be in place if the Plan was adopted. And if it wasn’t, he added, the Borough would run the risk of decisions being taken out of their hands, and infrastructure becoming an afterthought.

Rob said: “Government guidance states that if you don’t have a sufficient five-year land supply, then you are more likely to be obliged to approve speculative applications – which are less likely to deliver the necessary infrastructure.

“But if the Plan is adpoted, on each allocation we will work through the infrastructure that will be needed to make it work, how that will be provided, and whether it is even feasible.”

Coun Timms added infrastructure was one of the fundamental reasons for a wholesale Local Plan.

She said: “If we didn’t allocate all this housing – if it came forward in lumps of 500 here and 200 there like it’s doing – you don’t get the money that will deliver the infrastructure; it comes through totally piecemeal.

“By approving the Plan, we can make sure that we have the infrastructure at the right points.”

A common criticism of the fledgling Plan is a lack of infrastructure to support developments.

In Dunchurch, fears about traffic, surgeries and schools have dominated the debate around the Plan’s proposal to set aside land between the village and the A45 for up to 3,800 new homes.

Dunchurch’s independent councillor Howard Roberts has started a petition against the Plan, stating: “Our ancient village cannot act as a major route for hundreds of extra cars. We must continue to raise objections on pollution, schooling and general infrastructure grounds.”

His concerns have been echoed by RBC’s Labour group leader Coun Claire Edwards and Liberal Democrat leader Coun Jerry Roodhouse (see this week’s Observer for more – click here).

But Rob said adopting the Plan would allow for up to two new main roads that would link to the A45/M454 junction and bypass Dunchurch.

He added: “This will solve the problem in Dunchurch – and it’s the only way of getting it paid for by developers.”

The Plan is required by Government to demonstrate a future supply of available housing land and ease the national housing shortage which has been exacerbated by increasing birthrates, more households breaking up and an ageing population. Rugby is the seventh-fastest growing town in the country.

The public can have their say on the Local Plan until Friday February 19, and the council wants to hear from people who want their land to be considered for development. Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/planning for more information.

 

Rugby Borough Council’s (RBC) Local Plan – the facts

  • Rugby must demonstrate a supply of land to accommodate 12,400 dwellings and 96-104 hectares of employment land up to 2031
  • However, because more than half of this is already accounted for by current developments (eg the Mast Site), only 5,200 NEW dwellings and 20 hectares of NEW employment land are needed
  • Development is good for the economy, creates growth and alleviates the national housing shortage
  • Each year since the 2007-8 recession, Rugby has fallen short of its annual new housing target (540) by around 100.

 

RBC’s Preferred Option – the sites

  • South west: from the end of Bilton Village (Limetree Ave) to the A45 junction – 3,800 homes
  • Walsgrave Hill Farm: an area on the edge of Coventry, south of M6 j2, along the A46, down to Coombe Abbey (specifically designed as a small new village that cannot continue to expand) – 1,500 homes
  • Coton Park East: a completion of Coton Park Estate, which began around 1990 – 850 homes
  • Coton House: the old Post Office Training Centre – 150 homes
  • Main Rural Settlements: Binley Woods, Brinklow, Long Lawford, Ryton on Dunsmore, Stretton on Dunsmore, Wolston, Wolvey – biggest villages in the borough, all have a bus service, shop, primary school – 100 homes each.
Rugby Borough Council’s Local Plan ‘Preferred Option’ includes proposed developments to the north and south west of Rugby (shown in green), as well as land already under development (shown in red).

Public consultation

  • The public can have their say on the Local Plan until Friday February 19. Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/planning for more information
  • Suggestions for alternative sites are welcome; the council wants to hear from landowners who want their land to be considered for development
  • In the summer, a second ‘submission version’ will be produced and consulted on again
  • A final version will then be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate to consider on behalf of the Secretary of State.

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