Rio’s a ‘boil on the backside’ of town, says councillor before approving its demolition

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Rio’s nightclub in Bedford Street was described as “a boil on the backside of Leamington” by a district councillor at a planning meeting yesterday (Tuesday December 6) before its demolition was approved.

Cllr Terry Morris (Con, Saltisford) made the comments during a Warwick District Council planning meeting on Tuesday December 6 discussing whether the club should be demolished to make way for a four-storey block of flats for 46 students.

Officers had recommended the plan should be refused because they claimed it would cause ‘unacceptable harm’ to the area and adjacent listed buildings due to its imposing height.

They also claimed the building would not provide a ‘satisfactory living environment’ for the students who would live there because of bad lighting and window glazing.

But councillors went against officers’ recommendation to refuse the plan and approved it by six votes to three.

Cllr Tony Heath (Whitnash Residents’ Association, Whitnash), echoed Cllr Morris’s comments, although he described the whole of Bedford Street as a boil on the backside of the Parade.

Cllr Heath added: “We’re doing our best to centralise good-standard student accommodation - I see the result of HMOs in Brunswick Street and Tachbrook Road every day.

“If we can’t come up with a condition to improve the glazing I think we’re not doing our job properly.

“The whole of that street needs upgrading.”

Planning officer Tracy Darke tried to persuade councillors to go with the recommendation.

She said: “We should be expecting significantly higher quality designs to improve Bedford Street.

“Just because Bedford Street is not great at the moment doesn’t mean we should put a ‘not great’ development there.”

Cllr Andrew Day (Con, Bishops Tachbrook) was persuaded by her words and said: “This will set a precedent and we will rue it later.”