Rugby’s Rounds Gardens high-rise flats are to be demolished and replaced by 221 ‘modern and aspirational’ council homes.
But the £28m scheme will throw up ‘once in a generation’ challenges according to the leader of Rugby Borough Council whose recommendation to pull down the 50-year-old flats was backed by all political parties at Tuesday’s full council meeting.
Cllr Michael Stokes (Con Admirals and Cawston) said: “Although it has not been looked on as a very favourable place to live for some, we mustn’t forget that it has been home to many for many years.
“Because of the workmanship going back 50 years, it means we can’t continue to take a risk and we unfortunately have to ask people to leave their homes. That is always a very difficult decision and one we will be taking with a heavy heart.”
Compensation packages will be offered to residents and it is planned to have the flats empty by March 2022.
Lib Dem leader Jerry Roodhouse (Paddox) backed the plan adding: “Going forward there will be some difficult times and some difficult parts of the journey as there always is on projects of this size and scale.”
And Cllr Maggie O’Rourke (Lab Benn) added: “It is really important that we think about communities because it is a unique community - some of the residents have lived in the flats for a very long time.
"We have an opportunity to do something with these new builds, to do something positive. Let’s get this one right and make it as good as we can.”
Safety issues have prompted a number of investigations at the flats including one by the Buildings Research Establishment which reported major concerns with the cost of refurbishment put at £30m.