Great crested newts in focus with work to start on BT masts site - The Rugby Observer

Great crested newts in focus with work to start on BT masts site

Rugby Editorial 28th May, 2014 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

THE masts site has long been talked about as bearing most of the pressure of the need for housing.

Much has been said about how the roads around the huge site would cope with the thousands of people who one day will live, shop and work there.

Many hours has been spent drawing up the plans over the past 15 years and several more getting them through what can be an arduous planning process.

And now with work finally set to start on the land. it is the humble, but greatly protected, great crested newt that will take centre stage.

The first work on site will be ecological measures to ensure the creatures that measure up to 15cms long are found new places to live ahead of the building of the first of the 6,200 homes planned over the next 20 years.

“They are fairly common here, but are scare in parts of Europe which means they are protected by European law which we have to respect,” said David Keene, a partner at David Lock Associates which has been developing the masterplan for the masts site.

“The ecological works which include newt ponds will be the first thing that physically happens on the site although it will be later in the year when earthworks start and 2015 when the first houses will start coming out of the ground.”

Those houses – the first of around 350 that are expected to be built every year over the next 15 to 20 – will be in the southern edge of the site along the A428 neat to where it meets DIRFT.

Before that drainage work will be carried out and the roads will begin to be mapped out through the site and the five access points in and out. And Mr Keene said he was confident everything possible had been done to mitigate concerns about traffic of people living nearby.

“We think we have got the right package of works in terms of connections to the strategic roads as well as the off site improvements which include funding for traffic calming measures through Clifton which is one of the parishes most concerned about the traffic impact.

Detailed planning applications for those road improvements and the ecological works are already with the borough council and are expected to be approved without delay so they can begin.

Mr Keene added: “A development of this scale is a major task and requires a lot of resources so as a professional it will be good to see things actually happening because Rugby, along with the rest of the country, is under pressure for housing.

“I’m delighted we’re at this stage, it is the culmination of a long planning and consultation process.

“One attempts to look into the future and envisage how the site will develop overtime and the predict the rates of development however theoretically speaking we expect to see 350 units going up every year.”

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All YOU need to know about the masts site redevelopment –


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