Development taking place in Rugby must be balanced against preserving open spaces such as Oakfield Recreation Ground according to local MP Mark Pawsey.
Speaking during questions to the Leader of the House of Commons, the Rt. Hon. Andrea Leadsom MP, Mark highlighted that Rugby is currently delivering homes at three times with national rate, with 17 sites available for homebuyers to choose from. However, he voiced his concern that the Heart of England Co-Op have continued to push ahead with the controversial proposals to develop Oakfield Recreation Ground despite the huge local opposition.
Earlier this month Rugby Borough Council’s Planning Committee refused the application for a retirement village on Oakfield Rec, the second time that the Co-Op’s application for this site has been rejected.
In her response to Mark, the Leader of the House agreed with Mark that there needs to be a balance between delivering the homes we need and protecting outdoor spaces. Andrea Leadsom also urged the local planning authority, Rugby Borough Council, to take into consideration the views of residents regarding Oakfield Recreation Ground.
Speaking after Business Questions, Mark said:
“Oakfield Rec is a really valuable green space in New Bilton, an area of Rugby which has limited open spaces. Ever since the announcement by the heart of England Co-Op that they would be seeking to develop this land, I have made my concerns over these proposals very clear and I am pleased that Rugby Borough Council’s Planning Committee refused the most recent application.”
“I have always been very supportive of the need to deliver the new housing that Rugby’s growing population needs, but this needs to be in places where it is appropriate. The development of a well-used and beloved recreation ground is clearly not the right place for new housing, especially in the context of the substantial delivery of new housing at 17 sites throughout the constituency.”
“I was delighted to have received the support of the Leader of the House on this issue. I have met with representatives of the Co-Op on this matter before to urge them to come to an agreement with Rugby Borough Council to allow local residents to be able to use Oakfield Rec once more. I hope that the Co-Op will now consider coming back to the table to resolve this issue.”