Leamington centre car park could be the site of council’s new HQ

G.V. - Covent Garden Car Park, Russell Street, Leamington Spa, earmarked for the site of the new Council HQ. NNL-150922-230800009
G.V. - Covent Garden Car Park, Russell Street, Leamington Spa, earmarked for the site of the new Council HQ. NNL-150922-230800009
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Covent Garden multi-storey car park in Leamington has been chosen as the preferred site for a new headquarters for Warwick District Council.

Members of the council’s executive will vote at a meeting next Wednesday as to whether the authority should press on with plans to build new 
offices and car parking on the site between Tavistock Street and Russell Street in the town centre. The council has been considering sites for the project since 2012 with various options being considered.

In November 2014, it created a shortlist of sites which included land in front of the Royal Spa Centre - the site then preferred by the council.

Other sites and options considered and now deemed unsuitable were the Court Street car park, Chandos Street car park and also refurbishing the council’s current offices at Riverside House in Milverton Hill.

A report to councillors says: “An exhaustive search for potential sites led to the production of the ‘longlist’ considered in December 2014 and a further iterative (repeatedly) assessment has now concluded that of the ‘shortlist’ options it is Covent Garden that should be investigated in detail.

“It is recommended that the council makes a final decision on a preferred option and discontinues any further assessment work on alternatives, freeing up the resources that have been devoted to the task.

“Alternative site options would, therefore, only be considered in the future if the detailed feasibility and viability appraisals that will now be undertaken conclude that the Covent Garden option should be discounted rather than the project moving from its current feasibility phase to a future delivery phase.”

Work could begin in 12 months’ time with the offices opening in March 2018.

Building the headquarters and replacing the multi-storey car park there would cost about 
£16 million, with the council hoping to make £4.42 million from the sale of the Riverside House site.