New plans for Kenilworth car park

CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a car park in Talisman Square have been re-submitted - months after being rejected.

Developer Cobalt Estates, who submitted the second planning application, says it intends to start the development of the north side of the Square late in 2011 and the car park would simply be an “interim measure”.

Shops on the site were demolished earlier this year in preparation for a retail or office development but it has since remained untouched due to a lack of commercial interest.

An earlier application for a car park was recommended for approval by Warwick District Council planning officers but was rejected by councillors in January.

This followed objections regarding road and pedestrian safety, increased traffic and pollution and the effect on the square’s appearance.Two blind people also objected to the plans on the grounds they showed a lack of concern for vulnerable people.

The new plans submitted are for a smaller car park which starts 11 metres further back from the buildings in the square than the original application.

The car park, if approved, will also have bollards around it, which the developer says will prevent cars from entering the pedestrian paved area. They say the bollards will also be sufficiently close together to aid blind and partially sighted people to negotiate the perimeter of the shopping area.

Cllr Michael Coker (Con, Abbey) said: “Kenilworth people are concerned if this car park is built. It could mean the end of any future improvements. The town council did however support the original application to build the car park but we wanted it to be limited to a certain time frame so it would only be a temporary measure.

“I would be inclined to take that same position now, particularly as all the shops in the town are full.

“I think Kenilworth is doing very well at the moment and I think a temporary car park would be fine, so long as it is looked at again in another 12 months.”

Hugo Hawkins, chief executive of Discovery Properties, which owns Cobalt, said: “It is felt the location of a small car park would improve not only the attractiveness of the area but also serve a useful purpose.”

The public consultation on the application is open until Tuesday November 23.