Government minister praises planned redevelopment of Rugby's high-rise blocks

Rishi Sunak visiting Biart Place.
Rishi Sunak visiting Biart Place.

A Conservative minister praised the planned redevelopment of Biart Place and Rounds Gardens, adding that the Houlton development is delivering on the Government’s ambition to deliver the next generation of homes.

Communities and Local Government Minister Rishi Sunak visited Rugby to discuss the plans to demolish Biart Place and Rounds Gardens to build new council homes on the sites.

The minister visited Rounds Gardens to see for himself the challenges that Rugby will face in providing new social housing to replace the tower blocks.

He also spoke with Rugby Borough Council about the plans for the sites - which could cost £60 million.

The minister also visited the Houlton housing development.

He met with senior members of Urban and Civic, the lead developer at Houlton, and learned more about the plans and projects on the site, including the incorporation of the Grade II-listed C Station into the secondary school due to open in 2021.

Mr Sunak said: “What was clear from my visit to Rugby was the town is delivering on our ambition to create the next generation of homes at Houlton, and this development is a great example of how a new community can be built.

“I was also very pleased to be able to talk to Mark Pawsey MP and Cllr Emma Crane about the ambitious plans that Rugby has for modern social housing to replace the existing tower blocks and the Government looks forward to exploring ways it could support these projects.”

In a previous visit to the town, Labour’s shadow housing minister Melanie Onn expressed concern at how Rugby’s growth as a commuter town is driving-up the cost of renting and buying homes, pricing more and more Rugbeians out of the market.

Rugby Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate, Dr Debbie Bannigan, said: "Rugby is rapidly becoming a commuter town for London and Birmingham, so housing to buy and to rent privately is becoming unaffordable for local people.

"Rugby is also a pilot area for universal credit and we know that private landlords are increasingly reluctant to rent to claimants. This means that, for many Rugby people, their only hope of finding a home is through council housing.