‘Appalled’ at eviction notice
AN UGLY and empty site on Kenilworth’s main road is what will replace the current STOP HS2 headquarters if demolition plans go ahead.
This is according to county councillor John Whitehouse (Lib dem, Abbey) who said he is “appalled” by a decision to evict the STOP HS2 group and BRINK from the Warwickshire County Council owned buildings on 129-131 Warwick Road.
It was agreed that Joe Rukin and his team could move into the premises last year as they were not being used. The county council bought them to relocate Buildbase so it could build a new Kenilworth Railway Station in Station Road. Due to funding and planning issues these plans are still on hold and it is costing the county council around £28,000 a year to keep the Warwick Road buildings standing, so it now wants to spend £100,000 to demolish them and erect a two metre high brick wall around the site until planning permission is given for Buildbase to move.
County councillor John Whitehouse (Lib dem, Abbey) said: “I am appalled at the way this decision has been announced without any further discussion with interested parties. Nothing has changed materially since the decision last year to let Stop HS2 occupy the buildings. Having an ugly empty site on Kenilworth’s main road for possibly several years will not be welcomed by Kenilworth’s businesses and residents.”
As well as the STOP HS2 group, BRINK has also been using the building and hoped to establish an art gallery in there. A petition with more than 100 signatures has been collected to support these plans.
However the eviction letter has been issued and the decision to do this was taken by county councillor Alan Cockburn (Con, St Johns) in his role as cabinet member. He said: “The only way to defray the business rate costs are by demolishing the buildings. I helped facilitate STOP HS2 moving into Warwick Road last year because I was told the costs would be minimal and it would help with site security. However, in light of the new estimated cost to the county council, I feel it is an inappropriate use of taxpayers’ money and if allowed to continue, would encourage every other pressure group across the county to ask for similar treatment.
“Current plans involve the county council levelling the Warwick Road site anyway.
“Also the offices there need considerable expenditure if they were to stay, as the flat roof is in poor condition.
“Therefore, although the county council is against HS2, I agree that STOP HS2 should move out.”
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Weather for Kenilworth
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
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Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
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