THE FUTURE shape of the borough is a step closer to being rubber-stamped.
Rugby borough councillors are to be asked to consider submitting the Rugby Borough Local Plan to the Secretary of State for an independent examination in public.
The “submission local plan” will go to a meeting of Rugby Borough Council on Wednesday with a recommendation councillors allow residents, parish councils, developers and other partners who have indicated they want to have their say on the document to put their case at a public examination of its policies chaired by a planning inspector.
The meeting at the Benn Hall will start at 7pm.
Coun Heather Timms, council growth and investment spokeswoman, said: “Submitting the Rugby Borough Local Plan to the Secretary of State is a significant step towards delivering planned, sustainable growth with the supporting roads and other infrastructure that we need.
“Councillors now have the opportunity to give residents, parish councils and other partners the opportunity to make any representations to a planning inspector for independent consideration against the requirements of the town and country planning regulations 2012.”
The Rugby Borough Local Plan sets out which sites in the borough will be allocated for housing and employment land, and what infrastructure will be needed to accommodate the growth.
It allocates most development sites on the urban edge of Rugby, with smaller allocations in rural and village locations providing extra variety and choice for the housing market.
The infrastructure delivery plan identifies additional facilities at St Cross Hospital, primary and secondary schools, doctors surgeries, and highway improvements, all at the request of statutory consultees such as the NHS and Warwickshire County Council.
The plan also includes a solution to long-term air quality concerns at Dunchurch by proposing a new spine road linking the A426 to the A45, proposed by Warwickshire County Council. The proposed road will take traffic away from the village via the B4429. It will increase the capacity of the crossroads, reducing congestion and associated air pollution.
Both the Rugby Borough Local Plan and the associated Infrastructure Delivery Plan have been formulated and updated following consultations held in the summers of 2013 and 2014, December 2015, September 2016 and December 2016.
The targets for completion by 2031, which have been identified according to methods set out in government guidelines and tested at examinations in public held elsewhere, are 12,400 homes; 110 hectares of employment land; and 732 square metres of convenience retail and 7850 square meters of comparison retail floorspace.
A report to councillors points out government guidance requires the plan to allocate new homes to support land allocations for employment sites, and that increasing the amount of land allocated for employment would mean that the number of houses needed would also increase.
Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/localplan for further details.