A ‘MASSIVE’ development proposed for ‘precious’ green belt land near Ansty ‘clearly contravenes local planning policy’, says a local councillor.
Coun Heather Timms of Rugby Borough’s Revel and Binley Woods ward has slammed the plan by Frasers Group to build its its new global headquarters campus on the site of Crowner Fields Farm, between the B4065 Hinckley Road/Main Road and the M6 near junction two.
She said: “This development is in the green belt, so valuable an asset. It has not been allocated in Rugby’s Local Plan. It is not located on Ansty Park or the Rolls Royce site.
“This wraps around Ansty village and areas that already have significant traffic issues. Warehousing 24 hours a day; three shift changes; circa 1,500 HGV movements; 7,500 jobs so staff vehicles; two road junctions, one by the M6 and one on the Brinklow to Ansty Road – do we want this extra traffic in our villages?
“We are in real danger of simply building Coventry’s homes and employment sites on Rugby’s green belt.
“Brinklow, Coombe Fields, Shilton, Wolvey and all villages in the green belt, you are affected by this. It could be the green belt next to you in the future.
“Our precious Green Belt cannot simply be sold off to the highest bidder with no regard for policy.”
The campus would include logistics space, offices, research and development for the retail sector, a hotel and leisure facilities – as well as a gym, swimming pool, and courts and pitches which would be open to the public.
The retailer, which owns brands including Sports Direct, House of Fraser, Game and Jack Wills, says the development would take up around 40 per cent of the 112-hectare site, and create up to 7,500 jobs.
A Frasers Group spokesperson said options for the site had been explored in a bid to accelerate the business’ growth.
They said: “This area of Rugby has been identified as a high-growth employment area. Our vision builds on a high-value employment area and will amplify existing investment.
“The campus will be landscape-led, driven by responsible and sustainable design principles. Where possible it will retain, reinforce, and enhance the existing landscape character and features – and will also include open space which will be accessible to all.
“Our approach will be regenerative. This means that rather than simply mitigate the impact of the proposals, we will aim to improve the environment through development.”
The company has launched a public consultation on the plans, and intends to submit a full planning application to Rugby Borough Council in the coming months.
Public exhibitions on the plans take place at Ansty Golf Centre today (Tuesday October 11) and tomorrow (Wednesday October 12) from 2-7pm.