Concerns over state of town centre car park in Kenilworth

The car park in Talisman Square, Kenilworth.
The car park in Talisman Square, Kenilworth.

Concerns have been raised about the state of a Kenilworth car park amid uncertainty as to when work to replace it with student accommodation will begin.

Permission to alter previously approved plans and to build 121 flats for students in Talisman square was granted by Warwick District Council’s planning committee in January 2018.

The car park in Talisman Square, Kenilworth.

The car park in Talisman Square, Kenilworth.

Developer Cobalt Estates, on behalf of Discovery Properties, was initially aiming to have completed the project in time for the new intake of students for the start of Warwick University’s academic year in September.

But the work has been delayed until spring of this year with the aim of completing the project in time for the start of the academic year 2020.

In the meantime, Discovery has allowed the site to be used as a temporary car park and is covering maintenance .

But town councillor Richard Dickson contacted the KWN to highlight the state of the surface of the car park which has several potholes and floods in places.

And Cllr Dickson said that while the project is delayed, the site should be kept in good order to support nearby shops.

He said: “If there are any more delays they will be lucky to have the project finished by September 2020.

“And it seems that Discovery is reluctant to maintain this car park in the meantime.

“It’s important for retailers in the town that we can encourage people to use this parking - we are seeing shops moving out, closing or not renewing their leases - it’s tough on the high street.”

Hugo Hawkings, chief executive of Discovery Properties, said: “Maintenance and repair work on the car park at Talisman shopping centre was carried out in the lead-up to Christmas.

“It is a temporary car park, as the site is proposed for development work, but the maintenance work ensured the facility is still fit for use.

“We will be able to provide further updates on the current programme of development at the site soon.”

The plans have caused much controversy with Cobalt having initially successfully applied for a 105-flat block in 2016 before asking for permission to increase this number after holding talks with Warwick University.

The ground floor of the five-storey block would be made up of retail units

The town council objected to the scheme, as did several residents living near the site.

Their concerns included loss of light to nearby buildings and a loss of space in Talisman Square with it becoming more like a ‘narrow alley or corridor’.