Future secured for old Shire Hall in Warwick
Weddings, conferences and other private events will now be coming to the old Shire Hall court buildings in Northgate Street.
The Grade I-listed building will have new iron gates installed and a disabled ramp at the side of the main entrance, new toilets in the building’s old ‘library’, and changes to the main hall to reduce noise levels.
Warwick District Council’s planning committee unanimously approved the plans, submitted by building owners Warwickshire County Council, at a meeting held on Tuesday February 28.
Before the committee debated the plans, Warwick town councillor John Holland said Northgate Street was a ‘world-class heritage site’, and had been trying to find a sustainable future for the old court buildings for decades.
Cllr Felicity Bunker (Con, Park Hill) was impressed with the plans but was concerned about possible noise levels.
She said: “I’m very pleased with what the county council decided to do with the building - it’s wonderful it’s going to have so many uses.
“At the moment, people can stay there until 1am, but that is quite late for people living opposite. If people have had a good time they’re not going to come out in silence.”
Her concerns were rebutted by council officer Gary Fisher, who said environmental health officers has no issues with the possible noise levels.
Cllr Alan Boad (Lib Dem, Crown) said: “On balance, this is probably the best option on the table. It’s either that or it would be an empty building.”
And Cllr Andrew Day (Con, Bishops Tachbrook) thought the conditions of the plan needed to be tweaked to make sure the servicing of the hall from refuse trucks and similar vehicles was done in a ‘neighbourly’ way.
In the end, the plan was accepted with Cllr Day’s suggestions.