Canal comes first in planning row

Published: Monday, 15 January 2018

THE plans for a multi-storey building in Leamington have been refused in favour of its impact on the nearby Grand Union Canal, perhaps setting a welcome trend.

The plans were to demolish the scrapyard and its building currently by the side of the waterway using the area to build a multi-storey accommodation block for students, Roger Fox tells us.

Situated along the waterway

The building would comprise of 48 units of apartments and penthouses that would have been situated along the waterway, but the application was refused by Warwick District Council’s Planning Committee that would not grant planning permission.

The plans not only included the demolition of the Mercia Scrapyard, but other buildings including that of Simclick Floors, clearing a vast area by the side of the waterway.

Detrimental impact

Objection to the plans was made by Leamington Town Council, it being stated that 'it will have a detrimental impact on the character of the canal side setting', with Councillor Kristie Naimo, speaking against the application, at the meeting:

“The Council are in the process of designating the canal as a conservation area so that important canal side sites are protected and enhanced through appropriate means."

Another councillor told the meeting that instead of producing warehouse-style student blocks it can become a fantastic amenity for the town and visitors alike.

Accommodation for students

Another councillor was concerned about the ever increasing accommodation for students:

“We’ve already lost hundreds of family homes to student conversions and seen the construction of huge student accommodation blocks looming over our streets. No-one voted for Leamington becoming a giant hall of residence for Warwick University and last night’s decision is hopefully the tide beginning to turn."