PLANS for two major development schemes in Leamington – totalling £50 million – have taken a major step forward.
Warwick District Council and its development partner Public Sector Plc have formally submitted two linked planning applications as PSP Warwick LLP – a detailed application for the development of a new council HQ, a new multi-storey car park and 44 apartments on the site of the current Covent Garden car park in Leamington town centre;
And an outline application has also been put in for the subsequent redevelopment of the council’s current Riverside House site headquarters for new housing.
The new council headquarters – which will will include a new council chamber and a one-stop shop for the public – are set to cost in the region of £8.6million which will be paid for by the sale of Riverside House, with council bosses expecting to pay £7million towards the new car park.
Council chiefs estimate the move will also save £300,000 annually in operating costs.
They also say the move of 350 jobs will give a £1million boost to the town centre economy, while the two schemes will create more than 250 full-time jobs during construction.
But the £11million plans to build some 170 homes on the site of Riverside House have met with strong opposition, including from MP Matt Western who has said it was the “wrong development in the wrong place at the wrong time”.
Leader of Warwick District Council, Coun Andrew Mobbs said: “I’m delighted that we are now making significant progress with our pragmatic plans which will see a smaller and more efficient council HQ and at the same time provide a stunning new gateway development in Leamington town centre and much needed new housing.”
David Samson, from PSP Warwick LLP, added: “These planning applications are the result of many years of work to find the best possible solution to meet the future needs of the council and Warwick district residents.”
The project team has been consulting with local businesses, stakeholders and residents in the weeks running up to the applications, which will now give the public the opportunity to see the plans and comment on the proposals via the official planning consultation process.
The council hope the new HQ, housing and car park at Covent Garden will be completed by October 2018.