Plans to improve high-rise Biart Place and Rounds Gardens flats in Rugby

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PLANS have been announced to improve rundown high-rise flats in Rugby.

A report following a review of Rugby Borough Council’s multi-storey flats concludes that redevelopment of the sites at Rounds Gardens and Biart Place would not make economic sense and says that the flats have an important role to play in providing homes to meet the needs of the local population.

It suggests a number of improvements that could be made to keep the flats as desirable and affordable homes for tenants in the long term.

The overview and scrutiny review group, which included borough councillors from all parties and a co-opted representative from the Rugby and District Tenants Association, will put its recommendations to the council’s Cabinet on Monday.

The review group looked in detail at the future viability of the flats and what needs to be done to maintain them.

During the review the task group members visited the flats and spoke with more than 60 tenants in their homes about their likes and dislikes.

One of the issues highlighted concerned heating the flats, with many of those interviewed saying they had difficulties heating their flats in the winter and, in some cases, problems with damp.

The review group are recommending that a detailed study should be conducted to look at what could be done to improve energy efficiency in the flats and that the council should work with energy suppliers to look into the most cost-effective tariffs available for tenants.

Cllr Carolyn Robbins, who chaired the task group, said: “This has been a very enjoyable review and has changed our perception of the multi-storey flats and their future life. I would especially like to thank the residents who took part in the consultation. Everyone we spoke to was helpful, frank and honest, and gave us invaluable information to inform our review recommendations”.

Cllr Leigh Hunt, the council’s sustainable inclusive communities portfolio holder, said: “This has been a valuable cross-party exercise which has helped to give us a way forward for the flats and has identified further work that we need to do to address some of the issues raised by residents. The consultation that the task group carried out has given us a wealth of information to draw on as we consider future spending and policy priorities for housing.”