Go ahead for old library plans

By Kevin Unitt Thursday 08 November 2012 Updated: 08/11 09:10

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The Old Library in Leamington.

PLANS to turn the former home of a Leamington community centre into 28 new apartments have been given the green light despite scores of objections.

The application for the Old Library on Avenue Road – which had been home to Bath Place Community Venture for two years until a site sale forced the organisation to move out last month – was debated by Warwick District Council's planning committee on Tuesday night (November 6) and passed by a majority of nine votes to one.

The plan will see the grade-two listed buildings converted into 28 new apartments as well as introducing 43 car parking spaces and demolishing an atrium to create a central courtyard plus a new private garden.

But hundreds of local residents and supporters of Bath Place, which had used the building on a peppercorn rent after fire destroyed its previous home, submitted official objections to the plans.

More than 300 letters complained over the loss of the community facility and said site owners, Warwickshire College, should have allowed Bath Place time to raise funds for an alternative home.

A further 1,000 people signed a protest petition handed in to the council ahead of the meeting.

Warwick and Leamington MP Chris White also weighed in to register his objections after previously mentioning Bath Place in the House of Commons amid a debate on the 'Big Society'.

Bosses of the venture have called plans for the Old Library “grotesque”.

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