Rugby Borough Council issues planning consent for new Urban Extension to Rugby
The transformation of a large part of the former Rugby Radio Station site into a new Sustainable Urban Extension for Rugby is set to begin this autumn following the formal issue of outline planning permission by the Borough Council today (Thursday 22 May).
Building upon BT’s legacy of global communications, over the last 15 years the Rugby Radio Station Limited Partnership (RRSLP) has promoted a high-quality, sustainable and deliverable plan for the Radio Station land west of the A5. Comprehensive consultation directly shaped the proposals for the site and the Borough Council embraced the Radio Station as a cornerstone of its strategy for properly-planned expansion.
The Planning Committee members voted in January (8 January) to support the plans for the Radio Station, subject to satisfactory planning conditions and completion of a Section 106 agreement. The conditions and obligations, which have now been agreed by both the Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council, secure a comprehensive package of measures including the delivery of 3 primary schools, 1 secondary school, a new health centre, the strategic link road on site as well as a series of highway improvements off site.
Following the grant of outline planning permission, RRSLP’s development partner Urban&Civic will take forward the proposals and anticipates initial ecological work starting on site later this autumn. The build out of the scheme will be phased over 20 years with specific thresholds determining the triggers for delivering essential infrastructure, such as schools and transport connections.
Neil McLeod of Aviva Investors, said: “Rugby has always been ahead of the game in planning for and shaping its growth and future success. We are really pleased that outline planning consent has been granted for the Sustainable Urban Extension. Alongside Urban&Civic we can’t wait to get going and strengthen our close working relationship with all those who have an interest in this unique site.”
Graeme Paton of BT, said: “The Radio Station site has been a big part of BT’s history. It has played a leading role in global communications and we are delighted that it will continue to signal the growth of Rugby in its new guise as a Strategic Urban Extension. With Urban&Civic involved we know it will be in good hands and that the site’s proud history will be reflected in its exciting future.”
The outline planning permission includes up to 6,200 new homes together with commercial space, schools, green space, heritage and the full range of supportive development set out in the submitted Masterplan. All matters relating to the detail of design have been reserved for future determination except the three highway junctions on the A428, the two junctions on the A5 and the link road junctions at Butlers Leap and Hillmorton Lane.
Rugby Radio Station Limited Partnership (RRSLP) is a joint venture including BT and Aviva Investors. Urban&Civic was selected as preferred development partner following a competitive tender process last year and has promoted the outline planning application since then. Urban&Civic will acquire an equal interest in the Sustainable Urban Extension.
The SUE site occupies an area of approximately 473 hectares on land previously used as part of the BT Radio Station.
As part of the ‘opening up’ of the site via the proposals, RRSLP estimates that approximately 5 miles of existing perimeter fencing will be removed and that approximately 30% of the site will become open space for existing and new residents of Rugby to enjoy.
Information on Key Phase 1 and reserved matters application for green and grey infrastructure will shortly be submitted to the Borough Council in accordance with the outline planning permission. Following approval, work is expected to begin on site preparation and ecological works later this autumn. It is anticipated that the first new homes will become available during 2015.