Controversial plans for new retail development off Myton Road in Leamington have been withdrawn

Plans to build a new retail development on land off Myton Road and Princes Drive in Leamington have been withdrawn before a committee could make a decision on the application.

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 4:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 4:25 pm

Warwick District Council officers had recommended Diageo Pension Trust Limited's application for a development consisting of four individual retail units, a restaurant/cafe unit and 290 parking spaces on land behind Homebase in Myton Road to be granted planning permission by the authority's planning committee.

The application was due to go before the committee on Wednesday (January 8) before it was withdrawn on Thursday (January 2).

The application proved to be controversial, with Leamington Town Council having objected on grounds of increased traffic and, subsequently, pollution and noise disturbance in the area.

Drawing of the planning application.

More than 60 letters of objection to the plans were also sent to the council.

BID Leamington's board of directors also objected stating that the plans are "Inconsistent with a 'town centre first' approach.

They said: "New retail should be focused on the town centre.

"Businesses will be directly competing with town centre retailers even if they are limited to selling bulky goods.

"It will be detrimental to the vitality and viability of the town centre, which is already under threat."

In the council planning officers' report it is said a town centre site was considered for the proposal but that 'none were realistically available in the immediate future'

The report also states that despite evidence that Leamington town centre is vulnerable. the proposal would not have a signficant impact on either Leamington, Warwick or Kenilworth's town centres.

The report adds: "The consultant considered the development would result in a degree of competitive overlap for certain goods, which would result in a degree of trade diversion.

"However, this can satisfactorily be addressed by an appropriately worded condition to restrict the type of goods that can be offered from the site which would mitigate the potential impact.

"It is considered that Warwick town centre is trading well despite a fall in comparison goods market share.

"Vacancies appear to be stable and unlike for Leamington there are no anchor retailers where their commitment to the centre is in doubt.

"However, there will be competitive overlap with some goods for sale at the proposed scheme.

"With the above in mind the consultant does not consider the proposed scheme will result in significant adverse impact on the centre's vitality and viability."

For more information about the application click here.