Councillors to consider consultation on future housing allocation
RUGBY borough councillors are to be asked to start formal consultation on how the council should meet housing and development targets that comply with government policy.
The local plan “preferred options” document will go to a meeting of Rugby Borough Council on 8 December with a recommendation that councillors allow residents, parish councils, developers and other partners to have their say on which land should be allocated for housing and employment, and how those sites should be prioritised.
If approved, the consultation will start on 14 December 2015 and will run until 5 February 2016.
The preferred options listed have been based on two previous consultations that ran in the summers of 2013 and 2014, and a call for sites that was completed earlier this year.
Amongst other measures, the preferred options for consultation include:
- Sustainable urban extension to the south west of Rugby, which if the proposed sites are adopted together allow for a strategic allocation with provision of associated infrastructure, including transport, education and health care facilities.
- Additional housing and employment development at Coton Park East.
- Allocation of around 100 dwellings at each of the main rural settlements of Binley Woods, Brinklow, Long Lawford, Ryton on Dunsmore, Stretton on Dunsmore, Wolston, and Wolvey, subject to suitable sites being available.
- A new village south of Walsgrave Hill Farm, to the east of the A46 opposite the University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire.
- Removing two small sites from the green belt, at Long Lawford and at the M6 junction 2, on the basis that they no longer meet the requirement for being classified as green belt.
The document also sets out how planning policy could support economic interests such as rural businesses, tourism, and the economic vitality of Rugby town centre, along with health, open space and biodiversity, while also protecting heritage sites and buildings of architectural significance.
Cllr Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for planning, said: “Rugby has already made major allocations of land at the Rugby Radio Station site, in Cawston and at Coton. These sites show that there is real benefit in having a clear vision of how we want Rugby to develop and grow. By taking this approach we have been able to insist on a planning process that has made full provision for primary and secondary schools and also for transport and health services.
“Councillors now have the opportunity to ask residents, parish councils and other partners how they think we should allocate future development sites, and whether we should consider any other sites that have yet to come forward.
“By taking this approach and allocating these sites now we will be able to create new, high quality settlements that are supported by education and leisure facilities, while protecting those sites that we want to keep in their current use, be that employment or open countryside.”
If councillors approve the preferred options document for consultation, the document will be amended taking into account the consultation feedback. Councillors will then need to approve the document as the council’s submission to a planning inspector. If the document meets all of the requirements and has all of the necessary approvals it will be presented for councillors to adopt as a new Local Plan.
Work with other Warwickshire councils has shown that to meet the council’s duty to cooperate under the national planning framework the borough will need to provide 5280 new homes by 2022, and 7119 new homes between 2022 and 2031.
More information on the local plan and the preferred options document will be available at www.rugby.gov.uk/planning from 9 December 2015.