THE Save Coventry Speedway & Stox Campaign Group (SCS) are very pleased to have received notification that the Appeal lodged by Brandon Estates over their failure to secure planning permission has been dismissed.
The Appeal was heard via a Public Inquiry commencing late September 2023, with the closing statements taking place two months later. Brandon Estates have been seeking to replace the iconic motor sports venue, which they closed after the 2016 season, with a development to provide 124 dwellings accompanied by a 3G football pitch and associated pavilion.
However the Inspector, Helen Hockenhull, has concluded that the stadium with its established use is not surplus to requirements, and that the ‘benefits’ of the alternative provision do not outweigh the loss of the stadium.
The proposals are therefore in conflict with various sections of National Planning Policy Framework, the Rugby Local Plan, and the Brandon & Bretford Neighbourhood Plan.
She also made specific reference to the national and international significance of the stadium for both speedway and stock car racing.
This fully endorses the views expressed by SCS throughout the process and by the members of Rugby Borough Council’s Planning Committee when the application was rejected in November 2022.
The Inspector also agreed with our point that ‘need’ and ‘viability’ are in fact distinct matters, and she has taken the view there is a realistic prospect of viability being improved should a phased approach be taken to the reinstatement of the stadium.