411 years ago, a group of gentlemen dissatisfied with the politics of the day and led by a Warwickshire native set about changing the status quo via extreme methods.  Although SALFV were joined on the steps of Rugby Town Hall today by Guy Fawkes, the only explosive element of proceedings was the sheer volume of signatures (1667) on the petition calling for Rugby Borough Council to remove Lodge Farm from the Draft Local Plan and extend the Consultation beyond the 6 weeks minimum period permissible by law.  697 completed objection forms and letters of objection accompanied the petition, adding further fuel to the Lodge Farm (DS10) bonfire.

Councillor Stokes (Leader of Rugby Borough Council), Councillor Timms (Portfolio Holder for Growth and Investment) and Mr Back (Head of Growth and Investment) had been invited to meet with SALFV at 11am to receive the petition.  Not one of these public servants acknowledged this invitation for constructive dialogue with their council tax-paying residents and SALFV were directed to deliver the petition to the Customer Service Advisers in the Reception Area at Rugby Town Hall.

While passing motorists showed their support for SALFV by sounding their horns, David Thompson (SALFV Chairman) addressed the watching press and assembled crowd. David briefly summarised SALFV's objections against the Lodge Farm proposal, notably:

  • Lodge Farm is unsustainable
  • Lodge Farm would be an intrusive incursion into the countryside.
  • Lodge Farm will increase traffic congestion and pollution.
  • Lodge Farm will increase flooding risk.
  • Lodge Farm will not deliver affordable housing.

and invited all Rugby Borough Councillors to join with SALFV in rejecting the Lodge Farm proposal outright.

Later, as SALFV supporters quietly and patiently waited in the Reception Area, a Planning Officer was contacted who kindly acknowledged the receipt of the petition (1667 signatures) and also 697 completed objection forms and letters of objection. Once safe delivery of the petition and objections was complete, SALFV supporters dispersed throughout Rugby Borough and West Northamptonshire. While some progressed via Dunchurch, passing "Guy Fawke's House", there were no incendiary moments and certainly no horse-rustling at Warwick Castle (unlike the Gunpowder Plotters of 1605!).