WORK to dismantle 60-year-old high-rise apartment blocks in Rugby to make way for a new social housing development is set to start this week.
Rugby Borough Council has appointed Manchester-based company O’Gara to dismantle the three tower blocks – Ashwood Court, Beechwood Court and Royal Court – and maisonettes at the site off Oliver Street.
The deconstruction and site clearance is set to take a year to complete, with O’Gara first securing the site before erecting full-height scaffold towers at each high-rise block, complete with flame-retardant covers to reduce noise and dust.
The firm intends to use further dust reduction measures throughout the deconstruction process, with the tower blocks taken down floor by floor.
The council’s prior approval application for the deconstruction project also includes restrictions to on-site working hours to minimise disruption to nearby residents.
Coun Emma Crane, Rugby Borough Council’s spokeswoman for communities, homes, digital and communications, said: “This work marks a significant step in the council’s plans to transform the Rounds Gardens site and build modern council homes for our residents.
“In O’Gara, we have appointed one of the country’s leading specialists in its field, expertise which was evident throughout the deconstruction and clearance of the Biart Place site.
“The work at Rounds Gardens inevitably involves a degree of dust and noise, but O’Gara’s working practices and the measures included in the council’s demolition prior approval application mean both can be kept to a minimum to avoid inconvenience to residents.”
Councillors approved plans to clear the Rounds Gardens site in February 2019 after structural surveys revealed the tower blocks were built to a poor standard in the 60s and may not ‘perform as expected’ in the event of a fire or explosion.
Surveys suggested the buildings were ‘beyond economic repair’ as it would cost less in the long term to replace rather than repair them, because they would need to be repaired again in less than 30 years.
The council has started to evaluate options for the development of the site and intends to launch a public consultation before submitting a planning application.
Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/rounds for more information about the work at Rounds Gardens.