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I am writing to you regarding Warwick District Council's plans to relocate its HQ and to sell its current site to a private development company.
I question the claimed benefits of this venture, and believe it to be unnecessary and very risky. It was never an election manifesto item, is not supported by at least half the district councillors within Leamington itself, and the town council objected to the planning applications. It has never been exposed to proper public scrutiny and, to date, residents of the district have not had the chance to challenge their elected representatives - such as yourself - at an open debate in a public forum. Nor has such a huge project been subject to an independent financial review. As such it seems ill-advised and highly undemocratic.
You are no doubt aware that the project will lead to the loss, for a protracted period, of the Covent Garden car park, one of the main sources of parking provision in the town, currently providing roughly a third of all off-street car-parking in central Leamington. WDC anticipates that the construction period will take around 20 months, which will have a significantly detrimental effect on town centre businesses and residents.
Other concerns I have about the scheme include: #### amend as appropriate ####
- The loss of many mature and established trees
– The lack of affordable housing, contrary to local policy for 40% provision.
– A £3m shortfall in infrastructure contributions, towards services such as education and health.
– The overdevelopment of the Riverside House site (a 70% increase over the local plan), and the resultant impact on the conservation area and heritage assets.
– The impact of the parking displacement scheme on Grade II registered Victoria Park, and its users.
– Inadequate parking provision on completion of the scheme.
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I urge you to consider these arguments and whether the council leaders and officers working on these plans have fully addressed the concerns raised by residents and businesses; whether the dis-benefits of the scheme are adequately mitigated, and whether alternatives have been sufficiently explored. I ask that you will consider all such concerns when then plans are voted on by the council.
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Sign the Petition
A petition was started in early January by Matt Western, MP for Warwick and Leamington,
which quickly amassed thousands of signatures. Though we would have preferred to host our
own, non-partisan, petition, we felt two petitions running at the same time would lead to
confusion, and so agreed to link to the existing petition.
This should not be seen as an endorsement of Matt Western MP, or the Labour Party, and we
hope people of all political persuasions will be willing to sign the petition to halt
the council's plans.