Kenilworth shops under threat again after new conversion plan submitted

Plans to convert a set of shops along Warwick Road have been resubmitted after the original application was withdrawn in January, threatening the existence of three Kenilworth businesses.

Tuesday, 1st March 2016, 6:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd March 2016, 4:57 pm
The three shops threatened by the plans. Copyright: Google Street View

Haberdashers Karen Delahunty Sewing & Knitting Centre, computer shop Techpoint and salon Cutz will all have to relocate if the plans go ahead.

The plans aim to convert the shops into five two-bedroom houses, two apartments and three retail units, which is slightly less than what was originally proposed.

The original plan mistakenly thought the building which hosts Karen Delahunty’s Sewing School at 84 Warwick Road was not listed, and as such made no reference to it in the application.

This drew several objections from members of the public, groups such as the Kenilworth History and Archaeology Society, and Kenilworth Town Council (KTC). The council also voiced concerns about the effects redevelopment would have on the businesses.

At a planning meeting last December when the original application was discussed by KTC, Cllr George Illingworth (Con, Abbey) said: “It’s quite simple as far as I’m concerned - one of the buildings is listed and the application makes no reference to this whatsoever. The units are also fully occupied - if they were empty this would be completely different.”

Techpoint submitted a petition to Warwick District Council (WDC) protesting against the original application, attracting over 50 signatures in less than a week.

Although the original application was withdrawn, the new application means an uncertain future for the three affected businesses.

Karen Delahunty, the owner of the shop that shares her name, said she heard about the new application from WDC after being left in the dark by the developers when the original application was submitted.

She added: “We’ve still got a lot of support, but this has put us in a difficult position.”

Formal comments for or against the new application have yet to be received by WDC.