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Councillors to consider consultation on draft housing allocation and infrastructure

RUGBY borough councillors are to be asked to start formal consultation on how the council intends to meet housing and development targets that comply with government policy.

The local plan “publication draft” document will go to a meeting of Rugby Borough Council on 19 July with a recommendation that councillors allow residents, parish councils, developers and other partners to have their say on whether the evidence base and site allocations meet technical and legal requirements.

If approved, the consultation will start on Monday 26 September and will run until Friday 11 November 2016.

The amount of housing and employment land and the actual site allocations included have been based on three previous consultations that ran in the summers of 2013 and 2014 and earlier this year, and two calls for sites.

The proposed plan includes development targets of 12,400 dwellings between 2011 and 2031, along with 110 hectares of employment land.

Amongst other measures, the site allocations include:

  • A sustainable urban extension to the south west of Rugby. By adopting the sites together as a strategic allocation the plan can include comprehensive associated infrastructure, including transport, education and health care facilities. A new spine road is proposed to connect the A426/B4429 south of Rugby with the M45/A45 and the A4071/B4642 junctions, bypassing Dunchurch crossroads. The woods at Cawston Spinney and at Cock Robin Wood and the separation between Rugby and Dunchurch will be protected by buffer zones.
  • Additional housing and employment development at Coton Park East.
  • Allocation of smaller housing sites at each of the main rural settlements of Binley Woods, Brinklow, Long Lawford, Ryton on Dunsmore, Stretton on Dunsmore, Wolston, and Wolvey.
  • A new garden village at Lodge Farm, to the south west of the A45 opposite Onley prison. This site was promoted in the call for sites that ran earlier this year and replaces a previous proposal for a new village at Walsgrave Hill Farm, which is in the green belt.
  • Removing two small sites from the green belt while not allocating them for development, at Newbold on Avon 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 lists the new infrastructure that will be needed to support the developments, including primary and secondary schools, local shops and community facilities, and new GP surgeries.

Other sections set out how planning policy could support economic interests such as rural businesses, the visitor economy, 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 allocating these sites now we will be able to create new, high quality settlements that are supported by transport improvements, education and leisure facilities, while protecting those sites that we want to keep in their current use, be that employment or open countryside.

“Councillors now have the opportunity to ask residents, parish councils and other partners if they think our plans are technically sound, and if they meet the requirements of the town and country planning regulations 2012."

The document will be amended taking into account the consultation feedback. It will then become the council’s submission to a planning inspector. If the inspector finds that the plan meets all of the technical and legal requirements and has all of the necessary approvals it will be presented for councillors to adopt as a new Local Plan.

More information on the local plan and the publication draft document will be available at www.rugby.gov.uk/planning.

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