This 2.46-hectare site at the northern end of the village of Newton in Rugby was owned by a local family and was identified as having the potential for redevelopment.
The site was promoted as being able to help Rugby Borough Council meet its own recognised shortfall in its five-year housing land supply, and although it was classified as open greenfield land adjacent to a Local Service Village, and therefore contrary to the provisions of the local Development Plan, the village’s close proximity to Rugby urban area, Brownsover, Coton Park and Clifton-upon-Dunsmore was an important factor in demonstrating the sustainability of the site.
Pre-application meetings were held with planning officers at the Borough Council and a public exhibition was held at Newton Village Hall in advance of an outline planning application being submitted.
Acknowledging that the development of greenfield land would inevitably result in some loss of openness, during the planning process our team was able to demonstrate that the benefits would outweigh any perceived harm in the context of a shortfall in housing land supply.
Those benefits were the delivery of much needed open market and affordable housing, boosting the supply of housing that would be energy efficient, and an enlarged residential community that may reasonably be anticipated to support local businesses and services, and in turn enhancing the vitality and viability of the local rural community.
Provision was also made for a children’s play area and new amenity green space to support and sustain the creation of a strong, vibrant and healthy community, both of which were identified by our team as being long-standing aspirations of the village and the Parish Council.
The masterplan for the site also proposed a number of highways improvements that would allow for an extension of the 30mph zone through the village and a new junction at the access point to the site from Newton Lane with new pedestrian footpaths. A £100,000 contribution towards the upkeep of a bus service for the village for a five-year period was agreed as part of the Section 106 Agreement to enhance the sustainability of the settlement.
The Borough Council’s planning committee were subsequently convinced that there were many economic, social and environmental benefits to the site being developed for housing, and members agreed that the proposed development would constitute a form of sustainable development.
Outline planning permission was granted and the site was subsequently sold to Lioncourt Homes, who secured full planning permission for 40 homes just 7 months later.