First tenants welcomed to new social housing block in Rugby, built on site of demolished care home

The block was completed in February, and the first tenants were welcomed within weeks

The council's Bell House development has brought a derelict site near the town centre back into use.
The council's Bell House development has brought a derelict site near the town centre back into use.

The first tenants have been welcomed to a new social housing block near Rugby town centre.

Named The Bell House development , the project 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.

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

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.

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

The care home was demolished in 2019 and then Rugby-based company Symon Construction was awarded the contract - with building work starting in the autumn of 2020.

And Rugby council handed tenants the keys to the new flats within weeks of the development's completion in February of this year.

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