Residents to leave Rugby flats

Biart Place
Biart Place

Work is to start on moving residents out of two blocks of flats in Rugby after a survey highlighted issues with the structure and fire resistance of the buildings.

But no decision has been taken about the future of the site – Biart Place – which houses 124 flats in two blocks.

Councillors at last night’s full council meeting of Rugby Borough Council adopted the report into the high-rise blocks by executive director Adam Norburn with a decision on whether to repair or demolish the flats not expected until the summer.

Leader of the Council Cllr Michael Stokes said it was important to have all the information at hand before making such a key decision.

“It is important that we do the right thing for the residents,” he explained. “When something is as important as this then we need all the information collated and put on the table.

“Bearing in mind what a big decision this is for the council, probably one of the biggest decisions made during my time as a councillor, then to wait another two or three months for another council meeting for me is quite right.

“The most important thing is that we make the right decision this evening, to move the residents out over a planned period.

“We need to make the right decision based on all the information available to us and we wouldn’t be doing anyone any favours if we did that half-heartedly. We have put a plan in place and we can communicate with the residents properly over the coming month about what’s going to happen.”

Councillors heard that it will cost an estimated £25m to redevelop Biart Place which is the least popular of the two sites with around 30 per cent of flats lying empty.

In addition to being rehomed, those forced to leave the high-rise flats will also be eligible for compensation for the time, trouble and inconvenience caused.

Structural tests are still ongoing at Rounds Gardens. A decision on whether it is necessary to move residents out of those flats is not expected until later in the year.

Councillors voted unanimously to adopt the report’s findings.

By David Lawrence, Local Democracy Reporting Service