Go-ahead for redevelopment of council HQ

How the new council offices will look
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Plans for a major new development in Warwickshire have been given the green light.

The Leamington town centre scheme, which will see the creation of a new 620-space car park, offices for Warwick District Council and private housing, was approved by the council’s planning committee.

A separate outline planning application for up to 170 new homes on the current site of the council’s headquarters on Milverton Hill – the sale of which will fund the new HQ – was also approved.

The move from Riverside House to the town centre will save the local authority more than £300,000 a year in running costs, while improving accessibility and hopefully, increasing footfall and spend for local businesses.

Cllr Andrew Mobbs, leader of Warwick District Council, said: “Covent Garden has long been in need of major investment and this scheme will create a landmark development fitting to this key Leamington town centre location.

“The new development will support local businesses by providing a car-park with greater capacity, cycle storage and electric vehicle charging points, much-needed town centre housing and smaller, more efficient and more accessible offices for the council.

“This has never been about politics, it has been about economic common sense and regeneration. The reality is that the new council HQ will save over £300,000 a year in running costs, funds which we can use to maintain or improve the vital and high-quality services we provide.”

In addition, he said the council had developed a project that meant the local authority did not have to dip into its reserves or borrow money to achieve the savings.

He also said measures would be incorporated into the scheme to provide temporary parking while the development was completed.

“The inevitable disruption that the closure of the existing car parks will cause while new car park is built has also been a major concern to many people,” he said.

“I can confirm that further proposals for temporary alternative parking will be brought forward to our Executive as a priority.”

He also said that efforts would be made to minimise the impact of the scheme on existing residents.