16th Dec, 2017

Plans for M&S Foodhall set to be refused

PLANS for a Marks and Spencer foodhall look set to be refused by councillors.

Warwick District councillors have been recommended to refuse plans for three new shops at Leamington Shopping Park.

One of the shops would be a foodhall, while the other two would be non-food shops.

The council received several letters of support, with people saying the town needed extra shops to cope with the growing population and that the extra jobs would also be welcomed.

A public consultation on the plans also found 95 per cent of shoppers supported the plans.

But objections from Leamington’s Business Improvement District (BID) group and the Chamber of Trade said the shops would push even more people away from the town centre.

Council officers have since recommended the plans be refused on the grounds the shops would cause ‘unacceptable harm to the vitality and viability of town centres within the district’ and also raised concerns about traffic congestion and an insufficient level of parking.

A spokeswoman for Leamington Shopping Park said: “Having undertaken extensive local consultation, it is clear there is desire locally for a nearby M&S Foodhall with convenient access and parking.

“The main issue raised has been in relation to existing local road congestion, and we have addressed the potential impact of our proposals thoroughly as part of our planning application.

“We have also continued to work closely with the council since submitting our application to resolve any additional queries about the scheme.

“We very much hope Warwick District Council will acknowledge the local support for an M&S Foodhall at the Shopping Park and take this fully into consideration when making a decision about whether to give the scheme the go ahead.”

Councillors will discuss the proposals on Tuesday (December 5).

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