It's been two weeks since our last comprehensive update and I know many of you have been asking what progress we have made and what you can do to help.

What has been happening?

A. Consultation Period Now Open:

As many of you know on Monday the 26th of September, Rugby Borough Council has begun it's 6 week consultation period on the Local Plan, by releasing piecemeal documentation on it's website and in various locations around the Borough. The consultation period is scheduled to close on the 11th of November.
It is important to note that any objections to Lodge Farm can only be lodged during the consultation period itself.

- What documents are available?

Rugby Borough Council has publicised 34 documents for consultation - and an additional 23 documents in it's "Evidence Base" for a total in excess of 3000 pages. They are located here:

- What is SALFV doing with the documents?

We have engaged two respectable planning consultants to assess the documents made available by the council to identify ways in which we can object to the proposed Garden Village. We estimate to have initial feedback from the consultants during the next week, and our aim is to have this feedback available on the website as it becomes available.

The feedback will enable you to object using evidence and correct planning points, which will give increased weight to any objection lodged.

- What can you do in the meanwhile?

The Council has given the public the minimum legal timeframe possible to consult: 6 weeks. Public law requires the council to give adequate time for consideration and response, and HM Government's Cabinet Office suggests 12 weeks should be the appropriate timeframe. You can find this publication by clicking here.

As such 3 Members of Parliament, Jeremy Wright QC MP (The Attorney General), Mark Pawsey MP, and Chris Heaton-Harris MP, as well as SALFV, Grandborough Parish Council, and many members of the community have written to RBC requesting an increase in the period of consultation, to allow members of the public to digest the information provided, understand the implications, and formulate responses.

If you would like to help, please write to:

Rob Back - Head of Strategic Planning at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and
Cllr. Heather Timms - Portfolio Holder for Growth and Investment at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In your message you can request that the consultation period be extended beyond the 11th of November, to allow proper scrutiny of the Local Plan, and formulation of responses, given the size of the documentation provided, and the impact it is likely to have on the residents of the Borough. 

B. Events:

So far we have held 4 public meetings in Grandborough, Dunchurch, Barby, and Braunston, as well as the Rally at Lodge Farm, which was attended by nearly 500 people, despite the torrential downpour. We were also honoured to be joined by Jeremy Wright MP who spoke passionately about why we are so concerned about this proposal.

We are planning a further event in Willoughby, as well as a Objection Writing Workshop / Drop in session at Grandborough, on the 20th of October. Further details will be circulated closer to the time.

C. Website

The website at is currently in the process of being revamped, to make it easier to use, more informative, and in preparation for us to upload all the objection points as they become available from our planning consultants. We expect to have the new website live at the start of the week.

D. Fundraising

We are in the process of obtaining costs for the professional and legal services we expect to need to fund the campaign. These are mainly the following:

- Planning Consultancy
- Highways and Traffic assesment
- Deliverability assessment (sewage, roads,etc) for Lodge Farm
- Representation at the Public Examination (should we get that far) by a Planning Barrister as well as a Planning consultant

We have thus far raised in excess of £11,000 and many of you have donated generously. We expect the funds required to be in the region of £30,000, so we need your help. Please visit our donations page at: and give as much or as little as you can afford. Professional help is extremely expensive and £100 only buys ½ hour of a highly qualified Planning Consultant. Every little bit helps and we are extremely grateful to those who have already contributed. We will be making more direct efforts to supplement our funds and, if you would like to make a regular contribution of (say) £5 a month for 6 months, that would be fine. Equally, you may prefer to make a pledge today to pay a sum in the future when funding is required.

If you are unable or uncomfortable donating online, please contact us for our bank details or write a cheque made payable to SALFV.

Any balance of funds left over when the campaign is victorious will be donated to Friends of St. Cross Hospital.

What is the plan going forward?

A. Work with the planning consultants to identify the areas of objection based on the proposed site's sustainability and delivery according to the National Planning Policy Framework.

B. Commission a traffic and highways assessment, and a deliverability assessment for the site to gather the necessary evidence to rebut the council's assertions in their sustainability assessment.

C. Publish the evidence that Lodge Farm is unsustainable and undeliverable, whilst at the same time pointing out that there is a much more suitable site available for development at Walsgrave, near Coventry. It is at this stage that we will be inviting everyone to write in their objections to the plan.

D. Organise a number of "Objection Workshops" and "Drop in Sessions" where people can come in and receive help drafting their objection.

E. Continue to work with RBC Councillors, MP's and other elected officials to shift the political opinion away from Lodge Farm.

If the Council decides to ignore our objections and proceeds with Lodge Farm to Public Examination, we plan to appear at the examination, professionally represented with a Barrister and Planning Consultant to give evidence to the Planning Inspector that the site is unsustainable and undeliverable.

Other opportunities for attack using the legal route also exist.

Are we confident of victory?

We continue to hope that reason will prevail and the councillors will agree with us that Lodge Farm is an unsustainable development, located in the wrong place, and with detrimental effects to the environment and the countryside contrary to the provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework. However we are prepared and are planning to fight a prolonged battle as long as it takes.

Is Lodge Farm really unsustainable?

The Council have commissioned a sustainability assessment for Lodge Farm, and I would like to share with you a part of it. It is worthy of being considered a piece of comedy, if we didn't consider the fact that us, the tax payer, paid for it.

Below are 5 of the 18 criteria of sustainability against which the site is assessed. 

Criteria Nr. 1 seeks to reduce poverty, disadvantage and social exclusion. RBC plans to do that at Lodge Farm by delivering broadband.

Criteria Nr. 2 seeks to provide good quality local services: At Lodge Farm those will be accessed via 2 bus stops.

Criteria Nr. 6 seeks to provide a strong and stable local community. At Lodge Farm 2 bus stops will deliver this objective also.

Criteria Nr. 11 seeks to reduce climate change - Again 2 bus stops rescue this objective also.

Criteria Nr. 14 seeks to promote a sustainable and accessible transport network - You guessed it - 2 bus stops.

I will leave you to draw your own conclusions!