Developers fail in latest bid to build houses in Hillmorton after 100 letters of objection

Councillors voted unanimously to refuse planning permission

Rugby Town Hall. Picture: RBC
Rugby Town Hall. Picture: RBC

Developers have failed in their latest bid to build houses in the Rainbsbrook Valley after their plans attracted more than 100 letters of objection.

Pegasus Group had hoped to build up to 130 homes on a plot of land east of Kilsby Lane, in Hillmorton, but concerned councillors said it was important to protect what was seen as a ‘buffer zone’ between Rugby’s urban area and the open countryside.

Cllr Adam Daly (Con, Hillmorton) told this week’s [WED] planning committee of Rugby Borough Council: “I am very concerned about this scheme. I am concerned about the development on countryside and the significant and adverse impact it will have on the character and appearance of the landscape, particularly with it being in the Rainsbrook Valley.”

Cllr Neil Sandison (Lib Dem, Eastlands) added: “Generations of councillors have resisted development into that area because it has been seen as the buffer into Rugby urban area. There are concerns that the more we bite into the Dunsmore plateau and farmland, the more urbanised that boundary will become.”

He added that the many hedgerows in the area were important habitat highways and the area was also home to many birds of prey including owls, kites and kestrels and concluded: “If we keep chopping away then that environment will be gone.”

After presenting their report, the planning officer’s recommendation was one of refusal and it was noted that there had been 115 objections from neighbours as well as ones from the county councillor and Warwickshire County Council’s landscape team.

But Pegasus Group director Guy Longley urged councillors to consider the benefits of the scheme.

He said: “As members will be aware, the issue of landscape impact is a subjective one. In preparing our proposals we carefully considered the site’s landscape context and how the scheme could be designed to ensure that any impact could be mitigated.

“The only proposed issue for refusal relates to the potential landscape impacts. While noting the significant social and economic benefits of the additional housing, the officer report concludes that these are outweighed by the environmental harm relating to landscaping impacts. We would challenge these conclusions.”

Councillors voted unanimously to refuse planning permission.