Homes being built in Rugby at three times national average rate - The Rugby Observer

Homes being built in Rugby at three times national average rate

Rugby Editorial 27th Feb, 2020 Updated: 27th Feb, 2020   0

HOUSES are being built in Rugby at nearly three times the national average – raising fresh concerns infrastructure is not keeping up with population growth.

Figures released by the National House Building Federation showed 2,052 new homes were built in Rugby between 2017 and 2019, compared to an average of 737 elsewhere in the UK.

The figures were welcomed by Rugby’s Conservative MP as evidence that ‘Rugby is growing and open for business’, while opponents called for more funding for public services.

Mark Pawsey MP said: “The increase in new homes makes it easier for younger people and first-time buyers to get on the housing ladder. These sites are also providing social housing which can support some of the most vulnerable in our community.

“I do however recognise the concerns of those who want to see our infrastructure keep pace with the growth of our population. This must be done to ensure that Rugby’s growth remains sustainable.”

He said the growth in Rugby’s population meant there was a stronger case for greater investment in public services.

“This means a greater argument for investment in the Hospital of St Cross – an argument I have already made in Parliament and to the Health Secretary and one which I will continue to make as Rugby grows.”

Mr Pawsey also welcomed new government funding of £120,000 towards Rugby Housing Pathway, a Rugby Borough Council project to help local homeless people, and the council’s recent investment in existing and new social housing.

But Rugby Labour Group leader Coun Maggie O’Rourke said more investment was needed.

She said: “The lack of foresight by this government to provide the necessary funding to support the extra demands on our local public services and infrastructure is a disgrace.

“Homelessness is still a challenge, rent arrears are increasing, and more local young people are unable to buy their own homes or afford rent.

“If the government is not prepared to put enough money into our services and infrastructure, they will continue to be stretched.

“Our roads will become more congested and local air quality will become an increasing problem, affecting the health of local people.”

Liberal Democrat Group leader Coun Jerry Roodhouse agreed the government was failing to support the borough’s infrastructure.

He said: “New housing is generally not affordable and dealt with as an afterthought.

“The extra funding for Rugby Housing Pathway is welcome, but why do we have to rely on one-off government grants? The funding for local government has reduced and pressures are building up.

“Mr Pawsey should step up and press the government harder for long-term funding so councils can plan effectively.”

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