DUNCHURCH’S historic village centre is under threat from controversial changes to Dunchurch’s traffic system proposed as part of a new housing development, say objectors.
An extraordinary meeting of Dunchurch Parish Council will take place at 7pm tomorrow (Friday November 21) in Dunchurch Village Hall to consider the proposed changes, proposed by David Wilson Homes and Barratt Homes as part of their plan to build 860 houses on land between the Rokeby estate and Ashlawn Road
Under the proposals, vehicles will no longer be able to go directly across the existing crossroads from Rugby Road to Southam Road, and vice versa. Instead, traffic heading south on Rugby Road to Southam will have to fork left, turn right and then immediately left.
Traffic coming from Southam would have to turn left along a new road, to be taken from part of the existing car park, turn right and then left.
The reorganisation would reduce the number of car parking spaces in the village and take away the pedestrian traffic light phase from the centre of the village, near the Green Man pub.
Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate Richard Dickson and former Rugby borough councillor Glenda Allanach have been vocal in their opposition to the plans.
Mr Dickson said: “I’m very concerned that the plans show a complete lack of respect for Dunchurch’s historic village centre.
“The feedback from local shopkeepers is astonishment and complete negativity about the plans, especially as the number of shops is increasing with a new tapas bar and Post Office opening shortly.
“I encourage anyone who shares my concerns to write to the Planning Officers at Rugby Borough Council.”
Meanwhile, a member of the House of Lords has voiced her opposition to the development.
Liberal Democrat peer Baroness Joan Walmsley visited the site on Friday, where she met residents new to the area who had struggled to find a GP and an NHS dentist to take them on, and other locals who were worried the proposed development would increase the likelihood of flooding in the area.
Afterwards, she said: “Rugby Borough Council must ask serious questions of the developer.
“What will be the impact of the extra traffic? What is the effect on flood risk?
“As secondary schools are already over-subscribed, how would they cope with the additional children a development on this scale would cause?”
Richard Edwards, Regional Strategic Manager for David Wilson Homes, said: “These much needed homes will benefit the local economy through investment into local jobs and by significantly increasing local expenditure.
“As with all of our developments, we endeavour to work with the local community and have consulted local people and key stakeholders to further understand any specific concerns and help frame our development proposals as much as possible.”
Baroness Joan Walmsley (centre) spoke to concerned residents about the proposed Ashlawn Road development.