29th Oct, 2020

Residents to be consulted on revised plan for south west Rugby

RESIDENTS will get to have their say on a revised plan for potential development in the south west area of Rugby – which includes schools, a new fire station, and measures to protect and enhance woodland and wildlife.

Rugby Borough Council (RBC) looks set to give the green light to a public consultation on an amended draft planning framework for the South West Rugby site.

A report to next month’s meeting of the council’s cabinet recommends holding a consultation on the draft South West Rugby Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), which has been amended following changes to national planning policy guidance and feedback from residents and developers during a six-week consultation last October.

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 and outlines 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 both 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 the village of 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, 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.

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, which was adopted by the council in December.

And the amended draft also includes plans for the council’s parks and grounds team to explore the potential of managing Cawston Spinney via a future Section 106 agreement.

Since the consultation on the draft SPD in October, Homes England has acquired land totalling 65 hectares on the site from Warwickshire County Council, and expects 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.

Homes England, a public body sponsored by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, also wants to support the delivery of infrastructure and the spine road network, citing both as crucial to the wider development of the South West Rugby site, accelerating the pace of the construction of new homes.

RBC growth and investment spokeswoman Coun Jill Simpson-Vince said: “While many of the amendments to the draft SPD reflect minor, technical changes introduced to national planning policy guidance, other amendments take on board the comments and responses we received from residents and developers during the six-week consultation launched in October.

“The South West Rugby site has a pivotal role in supplying the homes and employment land required to sustain Rugby’s growth, and support the economic recovery of the borough.

“The SPD helps us to provide a framework for the development of the site while ensuring it has the necessary infrastructure to support the community who live there.

“By holding a public consultation on the amended draft, residents and other interested parties have the opportunity to comment on the changes and help us shape the right SPD for the site.”

Cabinet considers the report at its meeting on Monday September 7. If approved, a four week consultation on the draft SPD looks set to be launched in late September or early October.

Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/cabinet to read the report on the council’s website.

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