Tennis courts could make way for car park as part of council HQ plan in Leamington

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Public tennis courts in Leamington town centre could make way for car parking spaces as part of plans to build new council headquarters in the area.

Warwick District Council officers have identified the tennis courts in Christchurch Gardens as a possible site to provide around 80 car parking spaces while the Covent Garden multi-storey car park is rebuilt as part of the authority’s plan to integrate new offices and luxury apartments into the site.

Other sites earmarked for car parking spaces - proposed to offset the impact the temporary loss of 468 spaces during the work at Covent Garden will have on the town centre - include the current car park in Princes Drive next to Victoria Park which would have an extra 50 spaces.

Also on the list is the car park at the end of Archery Road which would have an additional 37 space.

All of these aforementioned sites would remain as car parks after the HQ build is completed.

Land off Court Street near the Althorpe Enterprise Hub would be used to provide 80 temporary spaces while the work takes place.

Part of the plans also include allowing the public to use the car park at the council’s current Riverside House HQ.

The plans are expected to cost £770,000 to implement,

The council has said that its strategy would cover the period between closure of the existing Covent Garden and Riverside House car parks, projected to be in the last quarter of 2018/19 to avoid the 2018 Christmas shopping period and the opening of the new multi-storey car park, projected to be during the third quarter of 2020/21 in time for the 2020 Christmas period.

The loss of car parking at Covent Garden is, therefore, projected to only cover a single Christmas and New Year period between 2019 and 2020.

The council’s report says: “Although the proposed car park displacement Strategy is likely to be acceptable in terms of the planning authority agreeing to the section 106 requirement it is anticipated that there would still be an under provision of parking capacity during peak demand periods.

“The detailed analysis completed as part of the planning application process indicates a shortfall of circa 297 car parking spaces compared to current provision at the 1pm weekday demand peak and of circa 152 spaces at the weekend peak, during the implementation of the proposals.

These figures will reduce to circa 197 on weekdays and circa 52 at weekends when the 100-space council-owned car parks at Station Approach re-open in 2019, in time for the 2019/20 Christmas/New Year period.

“However, despite the Station Approach car parking becoming operational during the Covent Garden closure period it is recommended that the council creates new car parking provision to support the needs of the town centre and minimise any adverse economic impacts while the new multi-storey car park is being built.

“The proposals provide for an additional circa 247 off-street car parking places which, subject to approval would reduce the projected weekday peak shortfall to about 50 spaces during the period between the proposed Covent Garden closure in early 2019 and the re-opening of the new Station Approach car parking in late 2019, create additional town centre car parking capacity of c.50 spaces at the

current weekday demand peak from late 2019 until the new multi-storey car

park opens in late 2020 and create additional town centre car parking capacity of circa 95 spaces at the current weekend demand peak when the Covent Garden car parks close, rising to an additional circa 195 spaces when the new Station Approach car parking becomes available.”

The proposals will go before the council’s Executive Committee members on Wednesday February 7.