Yet again Green Belt in Rugby could be sacrificed for a major property development. If approved, the proposal for over 350 houses, a country park and site for a secondary school would destroy the open space between Long Lawford and Rugby.
As a result of modifications to the Rugby Local Plan Long Lawford is already scheduled for extra housing to be built north of the Coventry Road. Even under the amended plan, however, The Lawford Fields site was not allocated for housing. A major reason for the Rugby Local Plan is to prevent ad hoc and speculative property development such as this, making a mockery of the process.
In the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) the Borough Council categorised the site as Red on the criteria of coalescence and landscape sensitivity, noting:
“…development of site could lead to coalescence of urban area and village. Within area of high landscape sensitivity due to openness and visibility. Site not considered suitable for development.”
Lack of Infrastructure and Facilities
A major development located at this point on the A428 will have significant impact on traffic flows with the Lawford Road into Rugby highly congested at rush hour and the Western Relief Road at capacity during school times.
More generally, the infrastructure at Long Lawford is already overstretched with significant new build over the past 10 years. Moreover, even with mitigating actions, removing a large natural rainwater soak will mean excess water causing flooding issues further along the River Avon at Brandon and Wolston.
Services will also become a problem with a large increase in residential properties. With no chemist, doctor surgery, full time post office and a bus service which is continually under threat the lack of facilities for what will become a large residential area is not acceptable
With no change in circumstance, if the site was considered unsuitable to be included in the local plan then this application must be rejected. This is particularly in view of the fact that the Borough Council has identified a five year land supply at other sites in Rugby.
The plans can be viewed on the Council Portal (No. R20/0134) https://tinyurl.com/ya9s6r3d
Comments on the proposals can be submitted to the council at firstname.lastname@example.org by 16th June 2020. Every objection will prove valuable as numbers are important.