Go-ahead for Leamington Spa council HQ revamp with no affordable homes

Plans have been approved for a 170-home redevelopment of Warwick District Council's headquarters in Leamington Spa, despite the proposed scheme offering no affordable homes.

A visualisation of the finished Russell Street development
A visualisation of the finished Russell Street development

Warwick District Council yesterday approved two linked developments which would allow it to move its offices from Riverside House at Milverton Hill to a new development which would be built on the Covent Garden multi-storey car park at Russell Street in the town.

The council is developing the sites in partnership with Public Sector plc.

The plans would see 170 homes built on the Riverside House site and the construction of a mixed-use development with 2,685 square metres of offices, 617 car parking spaces and 44 flats on the former multi-storey car park site.

Planning reports into both schemes, which recommended approval, said that viability reports had concluded that the provision of affordable homes on either sites would render the schemes unviable.

The report on the Riverside House plans said that the scheme "would cross-subsidise the new offices and car park [at Russell Street], which would otherwise be unviable".

The report said that the viability appraisal had been independently verified by surveyors who had "undertaken a robust assessment of the applicant’s appraisal [and] confirmed that they are in agreement that the provision of any affordable housing on the Riverside House site would render the relocation scheme unviable."

The report on the Russell Street plans concluded that the proposed office and residential development would be in accordance with the council’s local plan and would "support the vitality and viability of the town centre".

It added that the "relocation of the council’s offices and the provision of a replacement car park and a significant number of dwellings would generate substantial public benefits".

In a statement, the council said that the move from Riverside House to the town centre would save "over £300,000 a year in running costs, improve accessibility for customers and increase footfall and spend for local businesses".


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