24th Oct, 2020

Residents encouraged to have their say on development plans for South West Rugby

Editorial Correspondent 1st Oct, 2020 Updated: 1st Oct, 2020

A PUBLIC consultation on plans to develop the South West Rugby site starts this week.

Rugby Borough Council launched the four-week consultation on the amended draft South West Rugby Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) today (Thursday October 1).

The draft SPD was amended following changes to national planning policy guidance and feedback from residents and developers during a six-week consultation held a year ago.

The South West Rugby site, approximately 390 hectares of land situated between Cawston, Bilton and Dunchurch, was earmarked for 5,000 new homes and 35 hectares of employment land in the borough’s Local Plan.

The draft SPD supports the Local Plan by outlining the site’s design principles, infrastructure requirements and landscaping needs.

It details how schools, green spaces, play areas, cycle networks and a fire station should be delivered, together with measures to protect and enhance the site’s woodland and wildlife – including a ‘buffer zone’ to ensure the ancient woodland at Cawston Spinney remains protected, and a further buffer zone between the South West Rugby site and Dunchurch.

The draft SPD also sets out the timetable for the delivery of the South West Rugby Spine Road Network – comprising three new roads to link the site to the A45/M45, the A426 and the B4642 – during the phased development of the site.

Amendments to the draft include minor alterations to the route of the spine road network, with resulting changes to the buffer zone between the site and Dunchurch.

The draft SPD now includes proposals to locate the primary and secondary school in the site’s district centre, and plans for the council’s parks and grounds team to explore the potential of managing Cawston Spinney via a future Section 106 agreement.

A further amendment means the design and character of homes developed on the site remains consistent with the standards included in the Coton Park East SPD, adopted by the council in December, while amendments to the site’s parks and open space provision ensure the draft SPD now better reflects the benchmarks set out in the Local Plan.

Homes England, a public body sponsored by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, acquired 65 hectares of land on the site from Warwickshire County Council earlier this year, and expect to deliver more than 900 homes.

Rugby Borough Council has been working with Homes England and partners to accelerate the delivery of homes and employment land on the site, and the public body plans to support the delivery of infrastructure and the spine road network, citing both as crucial to the wider development of South West Rugby.

The council’s growth and investment spokeswoman Coun Jill Simpson-Vince said: “The South West Rugby site has a crucial role in supplying the homes and employment land required to sustain Rugby’s growth and drive the economic recovery of the borough.

“While many of the amendments to the draft SPD reflect minor, technical changes introduced to national planning policy guidance, other amendments reflect the comments and responses we received from residents and developers during the previous consultation.

“The SPD provides a framework for the development of South West Rugby while ensuring it has the necessary infrastructure to support the community who live there.

“This public consultation provides the opportunity to comment on the amended draft and help us shape the right SPD for the site.”

Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/swrugby to take part in the public consultation, which closes at 5pm on Thursday October 29.

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