Eco-charity safe after flats plans blocked - The Leamington Observer

Eco-charity safe after flats plans blocked

AN ECO charity in Leamington will not be made homeless despite planning permission being granted for new flats on its current site.

Action 21 feared for its future after Warwick District Council (WDC) planning committee gave the green light to plans for two blocks of flats in Court Street.

If built the charity and neighbouring businesses would have been forced to seek new premises, something Action 21 chair of trustees Belinda Pyke said would have been very difficult.

But despite planning permission being granted, WDC, which owns the land, has now confirmed it has no intention to sell it any time soon – meaning the proposed flats will not be built.

A statement sent to The Observer read: “Warwick District Council can confirm that a letter was sent to the applicant for the planning permission – who is also the lessee of the site owned by WDC – on May 23.

“The letter confirmed that Warwick District Council has no immediate or long-term intention of selling its freehold to this site. In addition, that the council will not provide consent for the proposed development in its capacity as owner of the land.”

Warwick and Leamington Labour MP Matt Western had slammed the Conservative-controlled council’s decision to grant planning permission.

He was damning in his criticism of the plans as they did not include any affordable housing and for putting the future of Action 21 and neighbouring business at threat.

WDC sought to clear up the confusion by stressing the council’s role as land owner and planning authority were separate.

A WDC spokesperson said: “The role of the council as the local planning authority is entirely separate its role as land owner.

“In its capacity as the local planning authority, it has a statutory duty to determine all planning applications in accordance with national and local planning policies, irrespective and independent of its capacity as land owner.”


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