Rugby council expected to approve huge 5,000-home plan today as campaigner warns of damage to wildlife

A leading campaigner argues that the plans have been altered to suit developers - to the detriment of residents and wildlife

Richard Allanach and his granddaughter explore the Northampton Lane by-way. This area has been declared as having a low-habitat value by Rugby Borough Council.

A leading Rugby environment campaigner believes plans for the massive SW Rugby development have been altered to favour developers at the expense of local wildlife.

Councillors are set to approve the 5,000-home plan at a meeting today, June 7.

The plan includes the 5,000 homes and 35 hectares of employment land earmarked for the 390-hectare site between Cawston, Bilton and Dunchurch.

Richard Allanach, who runs the Rugby About Turn Facebook group said the latest version of SW Rugby development document has built in many changes which favour developers but which will harm wildlife.

He explained Rugby Borough Council has taken away the requirement to plant large native trees to screen new warehouses, is proposing to allow developers to bulldoze hedgerows and trees for estate roads and has abandoned plans for a “dark corridor” to allow bats to travel between Cawston Spinney and Cock Robin Wood.

He said the lower standards will help developers’ plans to fell Brickyard Spinney.

He takes issue with the claim by Cllr Simpson-Vince in last week’s Rugby Advertiser that the Council has taken on board comments from residents.

He claims that it is clear from the latest draft of the planning document that it is the developers and not the residents who have been listened to.

He said: "Which resident would ask the council to weaken the standard for developments not impacting the local road network?

"The document has been changed from stopping new development with a ''significant' impact to only stopping development with a 'severe' impact.

“On Saturday I took my granddaughter to part of the site which Rugby Borough Council claims has a low habitat value.

"In a few minutes we heard a nuthatch, a greenfinch and saw a skylark.

"Skylarks are on the RSPB’s red list of endangered species. RBC’s plans will damage her chances of seeing and hearing these marvellous birds in the future."

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