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Consultation to start on draft local plan and infrastructure delivery plan

RUGBY Borough Council is to start a formal consultation on how the council intends to meet housing and development targets that comply with government policy.

Following approval by councillors at a meeting of the council in July, the consultation on the local plan publication draft will open on Monday 26 September and will run until Friday 11 November 2016.

Residents, parish councils, developers and other partners will all be able to have their say on whether the evidence base and site allocations meet technical and legal requirements.

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. It includes a number of modifications following the preferred options consultation that ran earlier in 2016, including one new site and revised wording to several policies.

The plan also includes an infrastructure delivery plan which outlines the roads, schools, hospital improvements and other infrastructure that Warwickshire County Council, the NHS and other agencies consider are needed to support the developments. Among the infrastructure requirements listed are a bypass for Dunchurch, a number of primary schools, improvements to St Cross hospital, and three new secondary schools in addition to Rugby Free Secondary School, which is already open.

The site allocations listed 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 and health care facilities, and primary and secondary schools. Warwickshire County Council has proposed a new spine road to connect the A426/B4429 south of Rugby with the M45/A45 and the A4071/B4642 junctions, reducing conflicts that currently reduce the capacity of Dunchurch crossroads and cause congestion and air pollution. 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. These sites have been allocated working with parish councils.
  • A new garden village at Lodge Farm, to the south west of the A45 opposite Onley prison. This site has been included following an earlier call for sites and, now it has been proposed by a developer, has to replace 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 local plan publication draft is supported by a substantial evidence base that outlines the benefits and disadvantages of all proposed sites as well as those that are not included in the plan, together with other documentation such as maps, flood risk and transport assessments. The publication draft and all of the supporting documents will be published at www.rugby.gov.uk/lpconsultation.

Cllr Heather Timms, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for growth and investment, said: “The local plan will shape the future development of our borough over the next fifteen years, including new infrastructure and facilities for existing and future residents. The infrastructure delivery plan is an important part of the local plan and I would like to thank Warwickshire County Council, the clinical commissioning group and the Hospital Trust, and other organisations, for detailing their requirements for the plan.

“Residents, developers and parish councils have also made an important contribution to the plan so far, leading to several changes.

“This latest stage of consultation is another opportunity for all residents and interested parties to outline how they think the council should plan for the housing and employment growth that the national policy says that we must accommodate. 

“All consultation responses made by the closing date will be considered and made available to a local plan inspector to examine, so it really is important that everybody makes their contribution now.”

Following consultation the publication draft will be reconsidered by councillors who will be asked to approve the document for submission to a planning inspector.

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