Councillors have welcomed plans to build seven large houses on the site of the former Dun Cow pub on the A45 London Road near Stretton-on-Dunsmore and Dunchurch.
The pub evolved into Crazy Daisy’s nightclub before being converted into a Cantonese restaurant but was left derelict after fire ripped through the building in 2016 - the second time that arsonists had struck.
The building has since been demolished and members of Rugby Borough Council’s planning committee this week (Wednesday) agreed a scheme to build the five and six-bedroom houses on the site. It is similar to a scheme approved five years ago.
Planning officer Lisa Davisdon explained to councillors that the development would normally be inappropriate in the green belt but in this instance there were reasons why the plans could be approved.
She said: “While it would harm the openness of the green belt and in a location where occupiers would be reliant on the private car, it is considered that ‘very special’ circumstances exist in this case to outweigh the identified harm.
“These very special circumstances include the previous planning permission for the development of the site, the former use of the site, existing ground contamination which requires mitigation and the dangerous and unsightly condition of the site following fire damage and demolition of the building.
“It is therefore considered, on balance, considering all the points outlined in this report that the proposed development is acceptable.”
Cllr Tim Willis (Con, Wolston and the Lawfords) said: “This site is a gateway into the ward of Wolston and the Lawfords. It has been unsightly for many years and has attracted the most unfortunate behaviours on the site. We have had many problems with it being a gateway to fly-tippers coming down to Stretton Road.
“Development is welcome and sooner rather than later. It will complement the cottage that has been rebuilt opposite on the entrance to Stretton Road and I am happy to move for approval.”
Cllr Adam Daly (Con, Hillmorton) added: “This is a fantastic improvement on what’s there. There are concerns around the use of private cars, however, the previous use of the site clearly required the use of private cars and this will be a reduction on its previous use.”
Councillors voted unanimously to approve the plans.