Local Plan hearings to resume in April - The Rugby Observer

Local Plan hearings to resume in April

Andy Morris 4th Mar, 2018   0

THE PUBLIC hearings into the borough’s blueprint for future housing and employment will resume on April 17 for ten days.

The first set of hearings into Rugby Borough Council’s Local Plan – which sets out where in the borough housing and employment land should be allocated over the next 13 years, and identifies the required supporting infrastructure – concluded on February 1.

The second stage of the examination will focus on housing allocations at villages in the borough together with gypsy and traveller allocations, economic development policies and sustainable design, among other matters.

The hearings will take the form of a roundtable discussion led by Mike Hayden, the planning inspector.

Only individuals, groups or organisations who have made representations seeking changes to the plan will have the opportunity to take part, provided they contact the programme officer to register their interest. However, anyone may attend the sessions to observe, subject to space being available.

Rugby Borough Council growth and investment spokeswoman Coun Heather Timms said: “The examination in public is an important process that determines whether or not the council’s plan for growth meets all of the legal tests.

“I am pleased that this independent and objective examination is moving on to its second stage.”

The Local Plan allocates sites for 12,400 homes, 110 hectares of employment land and more than 8,000 square meters of retail space up until 2031.

A copy of the inspector’s correspondence, which includes guidance notes and a draft timetable, can be found at www.rugby.gov.uk/localplan along with all of the examination documents.

CALLS for a rethink about the decision to drop a key development site from Rugby’s Local Plan have been cited to the planning inspector in the first round of hearings.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce wants a ‘model’ village at Ansty/Walsgrave Farm – which would expand the Ansty Park site – to be reinstated, having been dropped at a late stage.

The Chamber considers the village to be one of the most important and innovative projects for the whole sub-region.

Members say it would create a sustainable development providing jobs, homes, infrastructure and green space – as well as better ambulance access to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.

The Chamber has provided evidence the region’s chances of economic growth will suffer if the scheme is not reinstated.

Chamber vice-president David Penn said: “Economic growth in the region is talked about as if it is a given – but if we don’t have the land for jobs, businesses can’t grow and the economy will come to a standstill.

“We have ensured the voice of business is heard on this but this is not just an issue for companies across our patch, it’s about providing sustainable development for Rugby, the wider borough and, indeed, the entire sub-region.

“Our representations on this matter have been cited to the Planning Inspector and we can only hope that they are taken on board and that the model village at Walsgrave Hill Farm is put back into the plan as a fundamental part of our collective future.

“Currently, the sub-region is falling way, way short of the employment land we need to provide for jobs for the future and this development is key part of the mix to addressing the issue.”

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