Controversial car park plan for Leamington is rejected

The parking area in Archery Road
The parking area in Archery Road

Controversial plans to expand a parking area and turn it into a municipal car park at Victoria Park in Leamingon have been rejected.

At a meeting of Warwick District Council’s planning committee at Leamington Town Hall on Tuesday evening members voted in favour of refusing the proposals for the area of the former tennis courts in Archery Road on grounds the harm these would cause to the park would outweigh the benefits to the public.

The aim of the plans was to expand the parking area and increase its capacity from 30 to 64 spaces.

This also included the marking out of parking bays and the installation of lighting columns, CCTV and parking meters.

The proposals had received several objections from from groups, organisations and individuals including The Friends of Victoria Park; Leamington Town Council, district councillors Colin Quinney, Christie Naimo and Jill Barker; Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western; and Bowls England - which hosts the National Bowls Championships at the park.

David Adams, chairman of the Friends of Victoria Park, said: “We are pleased that this damaging proposal has been sent back. We expect that another version will emerge in the new year, possibly with fewer car spaces and less tree destruction, with a different regime for parking charges and even with a proposal that cars exit into Adelaide Road.

The friends group has also made a formal complaint about the proposals and this will be investigated by the council’s solicitor with a verdict expected in the next few weeks.

The refusal will come as a blow to the council’s parking displacement strategy which it is trying to implement to mitigate the temporary loss of 468 car parking spaces from the town centre as part of its wider headquarters relocation plan.

Cllr Kristie Naimo (Lab, Leamington Brunswick) who had objected to the plans, said: “I’m glad to see the planning committee respond to the concerns of the public - especially over the unnecessary loss of mature trees in a public park.

“I do hope that any further proposals will take on board the comments made by the Friends of Victoria Park and others for improvements to any amended scheme that may be submitted”.