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Ambition needed to utilise empty sites - Cllr Neil Sandison

March 28, 2018 1:10 PM
By Rugby Lib Dems
Originally published by Rugby Liberal Democrats

Councillor Neil Sandison (Eastlands Ward) has written to the local papers about the need for the leadership of Rugby Borough Council to show more ambition to make use of stagnating empty sites in the town and improve the transport connectivity across the borough.

Dear Editor,

Rugby town centre currently has three major development sites that have stagnated despite having existing approved planning permissions. There are also several under-utilised public buildings nearby and sites with no clear future. The Council has a strategic town centre plan and the emerging local plan which recognises the value of the prime retail area off North Street and the opportunity for a mixture of uses for properties in the independent quarter. However, what we do not have is the drive and ambition to intervene on those sites like we did with Chapel Street some years ago when the CO-OP businesses were failing, and the Council didn't know what to do with a deteriorating car park. This site did not move forward without the Council's intervention and floundered in its neglect. I am concerned as someone who campaigned for its redevelopment that we are allowing history to repeat itself. Furthermore, successful towns need good infrastructure to attract visitors. This requires a strong transport interchange so that those who live in our villages and on the edge of the urban area in the new housing and shopping developments have ease of access to the town centre. However, connectivity also appears to be well down the Council's agenda. Residents want more joined up thinking from those running Rugby Borough Council and this what they should expect.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Sandison

Liberal Democrat Councillor Eastlands Ward