The Rushden Echo and Argus, 27th October, 1933
Slum Clearance For Rushden
County M.O.’S Drastic Recommendations - Housing Shortage
A very serious shortage in Rushden of houses within the rental capacity of people employed in the town is referred to by Dr. J. M. Mackintosh, County Medical Officer of Health, in his special report on housing conditions in the county.
Presented at Thursday’s meeting of the Northamptonshire County Council, the report is described by the doctor as “a simple account of what I have seen with my own eyes.”
Dr. Mackintosh not only recommends the extension of housing enterprise, but condemns and suggests the demolition or repair of numerous existing properties.
“The Urban District of Rushden,” he writes, “has a great many serviceable houses of no great age, and the dwellings which are unfit for habitation are nearly all grouped in well-defined areas. The evidence which I have collected during my survey of the districts around Rushden points strongly to the conclusion that there is a very serious shortage in the town of houses within the rental capacity of people who are employed there. This evidence is supported by the overcrowding which exists in Rushden itself.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the provision of houses suitable for working people would very considerably increase the population of Rushden, and at the same time benefit the inhabitants of the surrounding villages by relieving congestion and reducing the abnormally high rents which are now being paid for bad property.”
There are 3,617 occupied dwellings in Rushden, and 3,954 private families.
The doctor inspected 124 houses and condemned 35, also scheduling 59 for reconditioning.
Albion-place is described as a congested and unhealthy area, and the clearance of the site is advised, involving the demolition of seven houses – Nos. 1, 3, 5, 9, 11, 13, and 15.
Other property classified in Group 1 (for demolition and site clearance) are:
32, 34, 36, 56, 77, High-street South.
12, 14, 16, 20, 24, and 26, Little-street.
Remaining house in Mannings-lane.
Numerous other houses are recommended for demolition as soon as the present tenancies expire, and Dr. Mackintosh points out the need of more or less drastic improvements to properties in Factory-place, Bedford-road, Dell-place, Woburn-place, Succoth-place, Park-road, and Duck-street.
The report for Higham Ferrers has already been published.