Changes to controversial Talisman development objected to by Kenilworth Town Council

An artist's impression of what the original development would look like. The new development will have more flats and will be taller.
An artist's impression of what the original development would look like. The new development will have more flats and will be taller.

Plans to increase the number of student flats in an already controversial development in Talisman square have been objected to by Kenilworth Town Council.

Developers Cobalt Estates, on behalf of Discovery Properties, originally received permission from Warwick District Council to build 105 flats and five new shops at a meeting in December last year.

During that meeting, planning committee chairman Cllr John Cooke (Con, St John’s), who is also a Kenilworth town councillor, said the plans were ‘greedy’, and added: “This application has used every possible centimetre of this site. They couldn’t have put more on it if they tried.”

It was eventually approved by seven votes to four with no support from district councillors representing Kenilworth wards.

Despite Cllr Cooke’s words, Cobalt Estates have now submitted plans to increase the number of flats to 121, reduce the storage area for the retail units, and increase the height of the building. The developers claim these changes are ‘minor’.

But Kenilworth Town Council’s planning committee were not impressed with the new plans.

At a planning meeting on Thursday November 23, councillors felt the new plans were anything but ‘minor’, and only supported the original plans because of reassurances from Cobalt Estates, which they claim have not been kept.

Concerns were also expressed about the development not being in character with the area, and the loss of light that nearby shops would experience.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Richard Dickson (Lib Dem, St John’s) said: “My understanding of the word ‘minor’ is ‘not that important’. These changes are far from that.”

It is unknown when Warwick District Council’s planning committee will make a decision on the proposed changes.