Give your thoughts on the regeneration of Warwick District Council's Riverside House headquarters in Leamington

Planning permission for housing at the site, which was granted in 2018, has now lapsed and the council says the relocation of its office accommodation will be considered separately at a future date and is no longer connected with the redevelopment of the Covent Garden car park site in the town

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 2:25 pm
Warwick District Council's Riverside House headquarters in Leamington.

A public consultation will be launched for the regeneration of Warwick District Council s (WDC) Riverside House headquarters in Leamington.

The authority's cabinet will meet next Thursday (July 8) to consider the development brief and confirm the public consultation programme, set to run over this summer.

The council has said that the new Leamington Spa Neighbourhood Plan, which has "a commitment to address the Climate Emergency and an ambition to enhance public access to the river" are "all considerations that are shaping a fresh approach to this important site".

Planning permission for housing, which was granted in 2018 has now lapsed.

The permission was part of controversial plans by the authority to demolish the site, replace it with housing and move its headquarters to be part of a new development incorporating a multi-storey car park and apartments at the Covent Garden car park in Leamington town centre.

WDC has said that, in preparing the draft brief for its project team which will lead the regeneration of the site, it has "set a high bar for any future developer, which the public will have an opportunity to consider and respond with comments and suggestions".

It added: “New thinking, driven by our response to the Climate Emergency and a recognition that the pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we work, means that this key site can come forward for a changed purpose.”

“Riverside House has been virtually empty for more than a year, with the majority of our staff working remotely.

"The building will not enable us to meet our climate change goals and is an increasing burden on council tax payers.

"The relocation of our office accommodation would be considered separately at a future date and is no longer related or connected with the redevelopment of the Covent Garden car park site.”

“We’re keen to create the maximum public benefit possible from this regeneration opportunity.

"In drawing-up plans for the future of the Riverside House site, we want to ensure that we maintain a strong and cooperative dialogue with all interested parties.

“Should the Cabinet approve the development brief we’ll promptly engage the Town Council, the Leamington Society, the Chamber of Trade, other local community groups and neighbours.

"Working together, our ambition is to bring new plans forward by the end of the year, which express a shared vision for this beautiful location.”