Councillors reject plan for truckstop near Rugby, arguing that it would harm the surrounding area

File image, Rugby Town Hall.File image, Rugby Town Hall.
File image, Rugby Town Hall.
Councillors voted unanimously to reject the application

Plans for a proposed truckstop off the A5 near Magna Park have been knocked back because of the amount of harm it would cause to the environment and the impact it would have on the surrounding area.

Councillors at this week’s, March 9, planning meeting of Rugby Borough Council accepted that there was a need for extra overnight facilities for truckers but concluded that the site on Lutterworth Road, Monks Kirby, was not the right location.

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The plans for nearly 300 lorry parking spaces, filling station, supermarket, accommodation, creche and coffee shop would have meant the Cross in Hands Farm being demolished and prompted 83 letters of objection. The council also heard that neighbouring Harborough District Council was opposed to the development as were nine parish councils.

Cllr Barbara Dent, from Monks Kirby Parish Council, spoke at the meeting to explain that the site was in open countryside, bordered by the green belt and with little development in the area

She said there were a number of other similar facilities within five miles with another agreed for Magna Park and added: “Monks Kirby Parish Council has long been concerned about the capacity of the A5 in its present state and its ability to carry any further traffic and we fail to understand how National Highways, Leicestershire and Warwickshire County Councils are able to assert that the proposed development will not impact on congestion.”

Laurence Holmes, the agent for applicants Magna Property Solutions, said three years of work had gone into finding a solution to the lack of high quality facilities for HGV drivers.

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He explained: “Currently there is nowhere near enough overnight parking facilities in this area which lies at the heart of the logistics triangle of the Midlands.

“When you scratch the surface, the motorway services do not actually provide secure parking. There is also a concern that they are not cost effective for the drivers with accommodation geared more towards a domestic traveller. The issues are acute and are set to increase.”

Mr Holmes added that government figures showed that an average of 865 drivers parked up in lay-bys and local roads on the M1 and A5 East Midlands corridor at any one time and the problem was acknowledged by councillors.

Cllr Peter Eccleson (Con, Dunsmore) said: “This is clearly a difficult one because it is widely recognised by this council that we have issues with lorry parking in this area along with human waste and litter. We undoubtedly need a site but I believe this is probably the wrong site so I would move to reject this application.”

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And Cllr Tim Willis (Con, Wolston and the Lawfords) added: “The officer in their report said the harm caused to the environment cannot be mitigated through the benefits which the proposal brings. Never was a truer word spoken.”

Councillors voted unanimously to refuse planning permission.

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