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Council welcomes first tenants to Bell House development

RUGBY Borough Council has welcomed the first tenants to a flagship housing development near the town centre.

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Council construction project manager Veleta Brown (centre), took Cllr Carolyn Robbins (left), Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for finance, performance, legal and governance, and Cllr Emma Crane (right), Rugby Borough Council portfolio for communities, homes, digital and communications, on a tour of the new flats at Bell House. Published Friday, 18th March 2022

The Bell House development has brought a derelict site in Lawford Road back into use and includes 13 one-bedroomed flats, five two-bedroomed apartments, communal gardens and car parking.

The development was funded by the borough council, with support from Homes England, a public body sponsored by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

The council bought the Bell House site in 2017. The former care home had stood empty for nearly a decade and had become a magnet for anti-social behaviour.

Rugby-based company Symon Construction was awarded the contract for redeveloping the site after the care home was demolished in 2019, with building work starting in the autumn of the following year.

The council handed tenants the keys to the new flats within weeks of the development's completion in February.

Cllr Emma Crane, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for communities, homes, digital and communications, said the Bell House development formed part of the council's drive to increase both the quantity and quality of social housing in the borough.

"Expanding and improving the council's housing portfolio remains one of our key priorities, ensuring we have the right mix of homes to meet the needs of our residents," Cllr Crane said.

"In addition to working in partnership with housing associations to provide affordable housing and buying homes from the private sector, we have committed to an ambitious programme of development, with plans for the regeneration of the Biart Place site set to be unveiled soon and the redevelopment of Rounds Gardens to follow.

"With the support of Homes England, we're delighted to have brought the derelict Bell House site back into use, providing tenants with high-quality, modern flats in a popular location near the town centre." 

The council adopted its new Housing Strategy 2022-2024 at Monday's (14 March)  meeting of full council.

The strategy can be downloaded from the council's website: www.rugby.gov.uk/housingstrategy

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