Protest to call for changes to South West Rugby masterplan
Standards for development in the masterplan branded 'inadequate' by protesters.
A small group of protesters arguing for changes to the new South West Rugby Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) will be gathering outside the Benn Hall on Thursday 17th June, 6.30pm.
Rugby Borough Council will be meeting on Thursday at 7pm and have been advised to approve the adoption of the SPD, which sets out a masterplan for development in South West Rugby.
A group of concerned residents want details of the South West Rugby masterplan to be changed. These include more protection for wildlife and green spaces.
They are led by campaign group Rugby About Turn’s Richard Allenach, who said the standards set for new development in the plan were ‘inadequate’.
Mr Allenach told us he wants to see a number changes to the plan:
A buffer specified between Alwyn Road, Montague Road and the planned development
A green strip at least 100 metres wide between Dunchurch village and the new development
Setting the buffer for Cawston Spinney at 50 metres and then adding much of the recreational land required to Cawston Spinney to form a country park
Specified cycle paths
Written protection for Brickyard Spinney; notable trees like those on Scots Close and for hedgerows
Large native trees to be planted around the warehouses
Land to be given now to the Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group for a new GP surgery
Open space between Cawston Spinney and the disused railway line to form a wildlife corridor
A commitment from Warwickshire County Council to start planning for the new secondary school now rather than in 2027.
Rugby Borough Councillors Peter Eccleson, Howard Roberts and Deepah Roberts (Dunsmore, Conservative) said in a joint response: “All three of your ward councillors within Dunsmore were outspoken in their opposition to the Local Plan for this area at the time but were defeated. In fact, Cllr Eccleson raised a motion in a recent planning committee meeting to reject an application for industrial development at Thurlaston which was also unfortunately defeated.
“We remain committed to ensuring that the development within our ward will support the ecology of the area and provide residents with the facilities required and offer development which is sympathetic to the locale. We can’t stop the development but we can control it… and that [is] what this Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is all about!
“The document does not get into the fine detail of cycleways and pathways since these are left to detailed development applications but such applications will be scrutinised to ensure they meet the requirement of the SPD as they pass through the [Planning] Applications process. There are allocations for leisure and open spaces. Provision for 14.36 hectares of parks and public gardens. There is a requirement for the development of a district centre with shops, a local community hall and for a GP surgery and three schools. The GP surgery will be post phase 2 which is 2021 onwards but before 2025 with the primary/junior schools in phase 3 which is 2022 – 2026 and the secondary school in phase 3-4 which is 2025-2030.”
The three councillors said they did not expect the 5,000 homes allocated within the SPD to ‘appear overnight’, and that developers within Rugby usually only built 50 to 60 homes per year on larger sites.
“The need for SPD is self-evident. As ward councillors we will support this SPD document… since without it Rugby Borough Council is open to speculative development and without guarantee of the infrastructure provision and the necessary protection to ecology and the environment that it desires. However, we will continue to hold the council to account to ensure that the guidelines of the SPD are strictly adhered to and that developers are dynamically aligned with these requirements and in the interests of our residents.”
We’ve also asked the three Bilton councillors for their comments.
There are limited places for the public to attend the Rugby Borough Council meeting in person at the Benn Hall, 7pm on Thursday. Anyone wanting to attend should email DemocraticServices@rugby.gov.uk.
The meeting will not be livestreamed. A council spokesperson said Covid-19 restrictions mean meetings of the full council have to take place in the Benn Hall which does not have livestreaming facilities.