From the Rugby Observer report of 1 July:
But Coun Maggie O’Rourke, who spoke at Monday’s meeting said while she was in favour of the development, she was unhappy at the lack of changes to address the concerns…
…”I just feel there was very little in the way of flexibility in the discussion and the issues people are concerned about are still there”
That’s a very diplomatic way of putting it. It seemed more to me that there was a definite effort to quell debate and dissent. Firstly through heckling speakers (mainly, it seemed, the women). Secondly through threats of dire consequences should the plans not be approved. Thirdly through suggesting that just because councillors had seen the original plans before (which had been changed for the new application), somehow objections were not really allowed to be heard. Seeing as many of the objections came not direct from councillors, but from the public, through their representatives, this seems a little haughty.
What I still don’t understand is how at least two Conservative councillors voted to refuse in committee, but voted in favour at Full Council. Was there any pressure brought to bear from their senior colleagues?