Save Leamington from Warwick District Council group vows to fight on against HQ after judicial review setback

Artist's impression of the proposed new Warwick District Council HQ building in Leamington town centre.
Artist's impression of the proposed new Warwick District Council HQ building in Leamington town centre.

Campaigners against Warwick District Council’s controversial new headquarters plan have vowed to fight on despite a setback in their efforts.

The Save Leamington from Warwick District Council group had its application for a judicial review of the Riverside House planning decision rejected last week.

Members are against the council’s plans to move its headquarters in Milverton Hill to new offices, as part of a new Covent Garden car park, and have about 170 new homes built at the former site.

The group has said: “This is by no means a done deal and our campaign continues with renewed vigour. There will be a council vote towards the end of the year, and we urge objectors to write to their district councillors.

“A call to action button for doing so and other information can be found on our website saveleam.com.

“We would like to thank everyone who supported the campaign so far and encourage them to continue to oppose the scheme.”

The group has said that its legal challenge was based on almost £3 million of requested section 106 contributions going unmet, despite a council officer’s report to the authority’s planning committee concluding that “the proposed section 106 contributions will satisfactorily mitigate the impact on local services”.

They have said: “With no third party appeals for planning decisions, and given the lack of consultation and communication by the council, we saw a judicial review as the best method available to us to challenge the decisions. It was always going to be a difficult and expensive process, and sets a high bar that there must have been an error in law in reaching the decision.

“Although the judge regrettably did not agree that the issue we identified represented an error in law, the judgement is by no means an endorsement of the council’s plans, and we still believe there is much wrong with them.”