Plans to expand the Princes Drive car park at Victoria Park as part of a wider displacement strategy for Leamington town centre have been rejected.
Warwick District Council's planning committee voted against granting permission for the plans at a meeting last night.
This comes as another blow to the council who had intended to expand both this car park and the car park at Archery Road but must now make alterations to the plans and put them forward again or scrap the altogether.
Expanding both car parks makes up part of the council's parking displacement strategy, which it wants to implement to mitigate the impact on the town centre if plans to demolish and replace the 460-space Covent Garden car park with a new larger car park, new headquarters and luxury apartments come to fruition.
The strategy has been criticised by both Leamington Chamber of Trade and BID Leamington - which represents businesses in the town centre - with calls being made for the council to delay the controversial project for a year to give the authority more time to work on and put the strategy in place.
Labour District Councillor Colin Quinney said: ”This is good news for those of us who have been trying to highlight how unrealistic these proposals are. The idea of providing a few spaces here and there around town will surely add to traffic congestion.
It would make much more sense to have additional car parking in one of the towns main car parks near Covent Garden - ie Chandos Street.”
Cllr Quinney added “At Executive in November it was shown that these parking displacement plans are going to cost the Council £1.25M and a further £600k in lost parking income. Perhaps now that money should be spent investing in two decks on Chandos Street as Labour and local businesses have been urging?”
“We have never had a satisfactory answer as to why this is not possible.
"It could be done in less than six months, using new low-cost designs, which officers are already considering for another site.
"Parking revenues would be retained. The location is much more sensible as it’s the closest site to the carpark due to come down”.
“We know this was not explored in the recent consultants work on car parking displacement as they were instructed not to look at Chandos Street.
"We urge the Executive to go away and look at this option again.”
The council's plan to open up the car park at its current Riverside House headquarters to the public at weekends - which is also part of the displacement strategy - was granted permission at the meeting.