CONCERNED residents say they are being ignored in revised plans for a large housing development off Ashlawn Road.
Developers have filed updated plans for an estate of 860 houses on farmland in between Norton Leys and Ashlawn Road, near to the water tower – and have abandoned plans to introduce a mini-gyratory system to the centre of Dunchurch.
But protestors have objected to revised plans to increase lanes of traffic through the village centre, and say there aren’t enough surgeries in the wider area to cope with a population rise.
On Saturday (October 24), a demonstration against the development attracted 50 people to the Dunchurch crossroads, including five borough councillors from three different parties, and representatives of the village’s Traders Association and Parish Council.
SARD press officer Sara Herrington said the new plans failed to address their concerns about traffic and healthcare.
She said: “Dunchurch has the worst air quality anywhere in the borough of Rugby and the proposal to build 900 more houses off Ashlawn Road will inevitably add to congestion and air pollution at the cross roads.”
“The developers even agree that the Dun Cow junction in Dunchurch will seize up – or, as they put it, will ‘not operate within normally accepted limits of performance’ – and that some roads will face a 59 per cent increase in traffic.
“Apart from some extra traffic lights and a new 40mph speed limit on Ashlawn Road, the developers are proposing nothing that would solve the problems they intend to create.”
She added that people would struggle to find a GP or dentist, with no new health clinics proposed for the development.
Coun Howard Roberts, independent borough and county councillor for Dunchurch, said the proposed changes would “destroy a historic village’s beating heart”.
He said: “In the application, the developer actually describes current congestion in the village as ‘significant’ and that the development would ‘exacerbate’ the situation.
“Yet, they seem to suggest their poorly-conceived scheme will mitigate the problems. This is worthy of serious scepticism by the planning committee.
“There is also a distinct lack of appreciation of the likely strain on infrastructure from land around Dunchurch with existing planning permission. This is not insignificant.”
He also raised concern at recent council air quality monitoring reports which showed nitrogen dioxide levels in Dunchurch already exceeded European Union standards – although Rugby Borough Council’s head of environmental services has previously said air quality at the crossroads was only an issue due to the monitoring station’s close proximity to the road.
Rugby Borough Council has given residents a deadline of October 30 to file objections to the new plans.