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28th Sep, 2021

Infrastructure plan for 5,000-home development set for council approval

PLANS to provide schools, healthcare, green spaces and new roads to a new 5,000-home site between Cawston, Bilton and Dunchurch while protecting woodland and wildlife are set to be adopted by Rugby Borough Council.

A revised blueprint for the development of the 390 hectare South West Rugby site has been recommended for approval by council officers.

The South West Rugby Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) sets out the infrastructure requirements, design principles and landscaping needs to support the site’s 5,000 new homes and 35 hectares of employment land, as earmarked in the borough’s Local Plan.

It details how – and when – the site’s schools, green spaces, district centre, GP surgery, fire station and play areas should be delivered alongside housing and employment developments, and places protections on woodland, wildlife and potential sites of archaeological significance.

The SPD includes a 15 metre woodland ‘buffer zone’ around the ancient woodland at Cawston Spinney, as recommended by Natural England, together with plans to transfer the management of the spinney to the council’s parks and grounds team via a future Section 106 agreement.

A landscaped buffer zone between the site and Dunchurch has been included in the SPD, incorporating a ‘green corridor’ connecting Cawston Spinney to Cock Robin Wood.

The SPD also details the timetable for the delivery of the South West Rugby Spine Road Network, which comprises three new roads to link the site to the A45/M45, the A426 and the B4642.

The council launched a public consultation on the draft SPD in October 2019, but amended the document following changes to national planning policy guidance and receiving feedback from residents, statutory consultees and developers.

A further public consultation on the amended document took place last October, and modifications have now been made.

Homes England, a public body sponsored by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, has acquired land totalling 65 hectares on the site from Warwickshire County Council, and expects to deliver 900 homes.

Rugby Borough Council has been working with Homes England and partners to accelerate the delivery of homes and employment, and Homes England intends to support the delivery of infrastructure and the spine road network.

A report to the meeting of the council’s cabinet on Monday (June 7) recommends the council now adopts the plan.

Coun Jill Simpson-Vince, the council’s growth and investment spokeswoman, said: “The South West Rugby site has a key role to play in driving the borough’s growth and economic recovery following the pandemic, and the SPD provides an important framework for the site’s development, including the delivery of infrastructure.

“Creating a cohesive and sustainable community in South West Rugby has always underpinned our work on the SPD, and the revised draft took on board comments and responses we received from residents, developers and statutory consultees during the consultation in 2019, and incorporated minor technical amendments reflecting changes to national planning policy guidance.

“The revised SPD going to cabinet includes further modifications and clarifications made following the consultation in October, all of which have been listed in the report, and I’m pleased we’re now in a position to recommend the adoption of the SPD for South West Rugby.”

Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/cabinet to read the cabinet report.

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