On 6 August 2016 a small group of Grandborough residents assembled at short notice to discuss what action we should take to fight against the proposal contained in the Draft Local Plan of Rugby Borough Council for the period from 2016 to 2031 to establish a village of 1500 houses at Lodge Farm, adjacent to the A45 between the Onley and Grandborough turns. It was agreed that we would convene a public meeting at Grandborough Village Hall on the evening of Thursday, 1 September. This meeting was to be chaired by David Thompson; John Tautu would seek to outline the details of the proposal and its implications; Councillor Emma Crane, the Councillor for the Leam Valley Ward on Rugby Borough Council, would confirm her rejection of the proposal and the action she had taken to question its sustainability and, finally, Richard Allanach of About Turn would identify what action everyone could take to fight the proposal.


The meeting was attended by approximately 170 people and generated considerable subsequent press coverage. The Rugby Advertiser described the meeting as “jam packed” and there was considerable coverage on the local radio stations both before and after the meeting. The Question and Answer session after the presentations indicated that there was a general consensus that the proposal was not sustainable. Issues mentioned as contributing to this unsustainability included traffic congestion (on the A45, in Dunchurch and the surrounding rural lanes), air pollution, schooling, flooding, effect on rural landscape and threats to wildlife. These are all valid reasons for objecting to the proposal.
A significant majority of people attending the meeting indicated their willingness to support the campaign and indicated in which areas they could help. One delegate from a neighbouring village enquired whether the presenters would be prepared to hold further similar meetings in neighbouring villages. As a response, we have now arranged to hold two further meetings in Braunston and Dunchurch before the Public Rally at Tollgate Farm on Saturday, 1 October  2016.


Two further meetings have been arranged as follows:-
Tuesday, 20 September, Braunston Village Hall; 7.30 pm
Wednesday, 28 September, Dunchurch Village Hall; 7.30 pm
The meetings will be similar to that held at the Grandborough Village Hall but adapted to meet the specific concerns of residents living in the vicinity of the meetings. Please encourage any of your friends who are concerned about the proposal and/or would like to learn more to attend. Over the next two or three days, we are embarking on a substantial leafletting campaign with leaflets being distributed to villagers in Dunchurch, Thurlaston, Braunston, Onley, Flecknoe, Sawbridge and Wolfhamcote. A limited distribution will be made to villages on the periphery of the area. At the same time, you will notice placards and notices in the villages publicising these events. The leaflets and banners for the first public meeting and these placards are the first items of expenditure incurred in the campaign.
We had originally planned a further meeting at Barby. However, the referendum on their Neighbourhood Plan takes place on 29 September and the Chairman of Barby and Onley Parish Council requested us to change our plans. We understand that residents of Barby are as concerned about the proposal as other villages. The Parish Council has included details of the proposal and of their opposition in their recent Parish Newsletter and we can expect strong support from the village. The Parish Council have written to Daventry District Council stating their objections to Rugby Borough Council’s draft plan. We will need a team to leaflet and erect placards in Barby on the morning of Friday, 30 September. Any volunteers?


A Public Protest Rally will take place at Tollgate Farm, Woolscott on Saturday, 1 October. Timing is 10.30 am for 11.00 am and ample car parking will be available. Tollgate Farm is located at the turn to Grandborough off the A45. You will see the signs advertising the event erected on the site tomorrow. It is VITAL that everyone attends this Rally. Several members of your Committee have abandoned their holiday plans in order to be present.
The formal part of the Rally will be completed by 11.30 am and we are hoping that not less than 500 people will attend. If everyone brings 5 friends, we will get to 1000!  We have invited the Press, the Radio and Television. Our  Constituency MP, Rt. Hon. Jeremy Wright MP;QC, has confirmed that he will address the meeting. We request that you sign the Petition which will be available. This will be presented to an appropriate “dignitary” at some time during our campaign in front of the media.


Members of the Committee are working tirelessly to ensure that our case is heard. However, we are also undertaking other activities to ensure that we leave no stone unturned in presenting the case that Lodge Farm is an unsustainable site for a village of 1500 houses and that there are other more sustainable sites. Meetings have been arranged with Planning Consultants and, dependent on their advice, we shall be writing letters and arranging meetings with the Officers and Councillors of Rugby Borough Council. We are also keeping in close touch with Councillor Emma Crane who is making a huge effort to ensure that she properly reflects the opinion of her constituents.


In the short term, please encourage people to attend the Public Meetings in Braunston and Dunchurch and to attend the Rally on 1 October and, of course, to attend the Rally yourself with as many family and friends as possible. If you feel you can make a specific contribution to our campaign, please contact us.
Also, please keep in contact with developments on our Website (www.salfv.org) and on Facebook SALFGV (Stand Against Lodge Farm Green Village). We have now added a “Frequently Asked Questions” section to our website.
You may feel that it is worthwhile writing to Rugby Borough Councillors and your MP now. If so, please look at Richard Allanach’s  guidance notes available on our website. However, the formal Consultation Period on the Draft Plan does not commence until 26 September. On that date the Sustainability Appraisal will also be published which will seek to demonstrate that the proposed development is “sustainable”. It is this supporting document which our letters must challenge.
After the publication of the Draft Local Plan and the Sustainability Appraisal and the opening of the Consultation Period on 26 September, we shall need a few days – perhaps a week – to obtain professional advice and prepare a series of “pro forma letters of objection”. These will be placed on our website and can be used as templates. We will also be arranging to hold “workshops” in the local villages to help with letter writing. Dates will be published later.
Finally, several people have given incredibly generously of their time. They are doing this for the benefit of us all. If you are unable to do this, perhaps you could make a financial donation. Effective campaigning costs money and we promise to be frugal. You can donate through our website or by making a cheque out to SALFV and sending it to Castle Lea, Castle Lane, Woolscott, Rugby CV23 8DE. Any surplus funds when we are successful will be donated to The Friends of St. Cross and Tracey Lennard has agreed to lead the fund raising campaign.