As many empty homes as new homes built in Rugby Borough
There were 720 new properties built in Rugby Borough in 2020/21; but as of 2021 there are also 706 properties recorded as empty.
IN Rugby borough there are almost as many homes standing empty as there are new homes being built.
There were 720 new properties built in Rugby in 2020/21; but as of 2021 there are also 706 properties recorded as empty.
Rugby Borough Council says that 151 of those are classified as second homes - meaning the rest don’t get lived in at all.
A spokesperson for Rugby Borough Council said: “Figures published earlier this month by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities show Rugby has a relatively [low] number of empty properties, with the figure falling by 21 per cent from 2020 to 2021 (892 to 706).
“Many empty properties remain in probate awaiting disposal in accordance with the deceased’s will. The council has adopted a council tax premium to encourage the owners of empty properties to bring the property back into use. The premium means the owner of an empty property must pay 100 per cent of council tax for the property and, if the property remains empty after two years, we apply an additional levy of 100 per cent, meaning council tax for the property has doubled.
“In cases where an empty property has a negative impact on the community, the council can intervene, often under planning enforcement regulations. This means, when necessary, the council can carry out repairs on a property in order to make it secure and/or structurally sound, and recharge the cost of the work to the owner.”
Empty homes in Rugby Borough
Data charts provided by Action on Empty Homes show that 1 in 57 homes in Rugby is vacant
We’ve asked RBC for information on how many of the homes registered as empty were built in the last 12 months.
To report an empty property, contact the council's regeneration projects officer on (01788) 533604 or email email@example.com
High house-building rate in Rugby borough
House-building rates for 2020/21 in Rugby are some of the highest in England.
In 2020/21 there were 720 new properties built in Rugby. Out of a total housing stock of 47,984, that works out as a rate of 1.50%.
That’s higher than the average across England, where national homebuilding rates are at 0.63% of the existing property market.
Warwickshire as a whole has seen the biggest increase in homes, with 3,050 built during 2020/21, equivalent to 1.16% of the existing property market.
And out of the lower tier authorities in Warwickshire, Rugby Borough comes second only to Stratford District.
There was only one other county in England, Oxfordshire, where annual house-building figures equate to more than one per cent of the existing market (1.15%).
We asked Rugby Borough Council to explain more about why the rate is so high.
A spokesperson for Rugby Borough Council said: “The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), national guidance and national regulations set out how local authorities should create a Local Plan, including a standard method to assess housing need. Proposals have to undergo several public consultations and a local authority has a duty to co-operate with neighbouring authorities to ensure housing needs are met.
“The housing need figure serves as a starting point in the local planning process, with local authorities working independently and collaboratively with neighbouring authorities to carry out a wide range of studies and assessments, creating an ‘evidence base’ on which a Local Plan can be based. The evidence base needs to be capable of being tested under public examination with stakeholders participating in debates about its soundness.
“In Rugby, our Local Plan – adopted in June 2019 – includes land allocations for both housing and employment up until 2031 in sustainable locations, meeting long term needs and fulfilling our obligations under the NPPF whilst also ensuring we can demonstrate a five-year land supply for housing to ensure the supply of housing meets long term demand.
“Having an up to date Local Plan based on robust evidence tested at examination, and complying with national guidance and policy, gives us greater control to shape the borough’s future growth in a sustainable manner whilst ensuring the impacts of development can be mitigated by the provision of supporting infrastructure.
“The borough’s Local Plan was subject to rigorous, independent examination and only recommended for adoption by a Government planning inspector once he was satisfied it had been prepared in accordance with the legal and procedural requirements.”
Mike Judge MBE, Chairman, Save Dunchurch Action Group, said: “During the Local Plan Investigations there were credible challenges to the forecast housing requirements not just for Rugby but, significantly, the overspill calculations for Coventry. On top of these concerns we challenged RBC’s approach to what we alleged were inflated estimates which then seemed to have an additional percentage added in completely without statistical foundation.
“Rugby will certainly have a record for house-building. Will they also have the unenviable record of building on greenfield sites? Has this calculation been made?
“Will the Council be as assiduous in their green policies (and, more importantly, their actions) and negotiate section 106 agreements that demonstrate real benefits to the current citizens whose environment is being so adversely affected, and who will suffer significantly from increased traffic and associated airborne pollution?
“A post-Brexit, Covid impact inquiry would surely provide contemporary statistics for Warwickshire County Council and Rugby Borough Council to base their projections on instead of literally ploughing on the greenfield sites about to be lost forever.”
We have asked Rugby Borough Council to respond to Mr Judge’s comments.
Sirius Property Finance analysed government house-building numbers for total permanent dwellings completed in 2020/21 across each county of England. They then looked at how this figure stacked up when compared to the wider context of housing market size, comparing it to the total number of dwellings in each county to see where the most building is taking place.
Data on the number of permanent dwellings completed in 2020/21 was sourced from Gov.uk - Live tables on housing supply: indicators of new supply.