As you may have heard, the Heart of England Co-operative has appealed against Rugby Borough Council’s planning refusal. We will be releasing a newsletter next week to assist you all in responding to the Planning Inspectorate.

We are continuing to do all we can to reinstate the park back to its previous state, but it is imperative that we take nothing for granted and continue to fight the Appeal, despite the blatant breaches of the National Planning Policy Framework in the Co-op’s documentation.

To give us the greatest chance of success, we will be activating ‘rule 6’ which means we’ll be taking an active role in the Appeal process. As you know, we are not experts, so we NEED to employ the services of a professional Planning Consultant and a Planning Barrister to handle the case for us. As you can imagine, such services are costly and the ball park figure we’ve been given is £15,000.

If we don’t make this target, there are alternative compromises such as self-representation with some guidance and a case review by a Planning Consultant.

The campaign has been running for two years now, and this is the first time we have asked the community for financial assistance. Our request for donations is not a decision we’ve taken lightly and we hope you appreciate that the committee has picked up the running costs along the way.

Our locally elected Councillors, Ish Mistry, Maggie O’Rourke and Steve Birkett, have picked up the tab for all of the printing – no small task when you consider our newsletter distribution list is around 1,100. On top of this, they have provided the facilities to hold public meetings and committee meetings free of charge. It really wouldn’t have been possible to get this far without them. They have all contributed towards the fund out of their own pockets, and are also approaching the Labour Party on our behalf for a further contribution.

Many thanks also to local company Darcy & Hall who has made a significant contribution to help get us started, and each committee member has (or soon will have) donated £50.

Now it’s over to you. Anything you can contribute personally to help will be gratefully received. If there are any companies or local organisations that you are aware of who want to support a green, people campaign then please approach them. No matter how big or small the donation, every penny helps and gives us access to more professional support in our bid to prevent the Co-op’s appeal being successful.

Please spread the word.

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