11 October 2012

RPPV Meeting

Residents for the Protection of Rainsbrook Valley

The RPRV Committee met last night to consider their next move following the granting of planning permission by Rugby Borough Council Planning Committee for a Crematorium to be built on Council-owned land south of Ashlawn Road, Rugby.

Councillor Chris Pacey-Day (Wolvey and Shilton Ward) attended the meeting and updated the Committee on the ambitious plans by the Council for major housing developments at Cawston, the Gateway site between the Leicester Road and the M6 and the 'Mast Site' on the former Rugby Radio Station on the A5. This major development due for completion by 2026 will provide up to 6,200 dwellings together with up to 12,000 sq. m. retail, up to 3,500 sq.m. financial services and restaurants, up to 3,500 sq.m. for an hotel, up to 2,900 sq.m. of community uses, up to 3.100 sq. m. assembly and leisure uses, up to 106,000 sq.m. of commercial and employment together with schools and green infrastructures, including ponds, lakes and water courses. In sum this will be more than just an urban extension it will become a satellite town of Rugby. When complete the population of Rugby Borough will be in excess of 100,000.

The Committee considered that the crematorium would be an appropriate facility to locate in this major new development with easy access from Rugby, Daventry and Market Harboroughand. It was agreed that representations would be made to the 22nd October meeting of the Rugby and Daventry Joint Crematorium Committee.

28 September 2012

Is this the End of Localism in Rugby?

The meeting of the Rugby Borough Council Planning Committee on Wednesday 26th September witnessed the largest turnout by residents for any meeting of the Council or of a Committee of the Council for many, many years. The reason, the Planning Committee were considering an application by Daventry District Council for a Crematorium to be built and jointly run by Rugby and Daventry Borough Councils on land owned by Rugby Borough Council south of the Ashlawn Road in Rugby.
There is a need for a Crematorium serving both Boroughs. Currently the Crematoria at Canley and Oakley Wood are used by Rugby and Daventry; however, with the massive expansion of Rugby planned for the next ten years and the continuing development of Daventry the requirement for a local facility is rising up the agenda.

The question is where should the crematoria be placed? Clearly it should be accessible from Rugby and Daventry and it should be well designed and peaceful. The preferred choice of location south of Ashlawn Road certainly would provide a peaceful setting and would be easily accessible from the East and South of Rugby. However, direct access from Daventry would either be along a narrow rural road or involve a long journey on the A5 and Ashlawn Road. The advantage of the Ashlawn Road site was that it was in Council ownership as indeed is all of the undeveloped land south of Ashlawn Road. The Ashlawn Road has always been regarded as the southern boundary of Rugby and overlooking the Rainsbrook Valley is a beautiful and tranquil place but so close to Rugby.

Local residents have formed and Action Group "Residents for the Protection of Rainsbrook Valley (RPRV) and have produced an excellent report worthy of wide circulation and study. The action group and their supporters filled the gallery and vacant seats in the Council Chamber and were well behaved in consideration of the importance of the issues being debated.

Planning Officers had prepared an excellent and balanced Report which concluded that Planning Permission should be granted and this was put forward as a Recommendation to Council. I spoke against the Resolution on the basis that Ashlawn Road was not a suitable site and developments were contrary to the de facto policy of Rugby Borough Council that there should be no developments south of Ashlawn Road. There were enthusiastic interruptions of support from the audience, something this blogger is not accustomed to!

The vote when taken was 8-2 for the motion and the views of local residents were ignored. So much for Localism!

What of the future? Planning permission has been granted for the Ashlawn Road site; however, this does not necessarily mean that a Crematorium will be built on the Ashlawn Road site. Apart from any other considerations, in the present economic climate, capital expenditure on Capital Projects will be severely limited.

My preferred site is and remains the A5 Mast Site.