15th Aug, 2018

Business bosses hoping a light will be shone on HQ plans

Laura Kearns 13th Jun, 2018

BUSINESS bosses are hoping a light will be shone on plans to redevelop Covent Garden car park.

Leamington’s Chamber of Trade and the Business Improvement District (BID) will host a meeting giving businesses, employees, customers and residents the chance to ask questions about the development.

Plans include a new headquarters for Warwick District Council, a new multi-storey car park and apartments on the site.

The meeting will be held at the studio in the Spa Centre on Tuesday (June 19) at 6pm and include council representatives including deputy chief executive Bill Hunt.

BID and the Chamber of Trade say they are worried about the loss of parking and that the new multi-storey will not meet increased demand on spaces from the new headquarters and apartments.

BID director Stephanie Kerr said: Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, said: “The Covent Garden redevelopment will greatly impact on local businesses, their staff and customers.

“As their collective voice, BID Leamington has been lobbying on the scheme for over a year, particularly in relation to the displacement plan for parking.

“With around 25,000 vehicles per month affected, local businesses are worried a shortage of parking spaces will deter shoppers and significantly diminish footfall particularly in the north of the town centre where businesses will also notice the loss in passing foot traffic.

“We are committed to working with the council not only to improve parking in the long-term but to attract the right kind of investment to take the town forward.

“However, we feel that this needs to be delivered in a way that responsibly mitigates any disruption to businesses as the high street is already facing significant challenges.”

Chair of Leamington Chamber of Trade, Julie McGarrigle is also concerned about the strain the plans will place on the town.

She said: “The Chamber’s role is to lobby local authorities to ensure the vibrancy of the town centre and its businesses.

“The public meeting will be an opportunity to have important questions answered and we urge businesses, and anyone in the local community with interest and concerns, to attend.”

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