PLANS for a new retail park in Leamington have prompted fears already traffic-choked roads will come to a standstill.
The proposed four unit ‘Stoves Retail Park’ is earmarked for land off Princes Drive – between the waste recycling centre and the rear of the Homebase store on Myton Road.
Developers Diageo Pension Trust say the new park would be around the size of two football pitches and would also include a café and 300 parking spaces. The planning application also claims it could create more than 70 new jobs.
The land was previously used as a lorry depot and employee car park for the former Ford Foundry but has been derelict since the plant closed over a decade ago.
Access to the retail park would be from Myton Road, past the current shops, and from another entrance off Princes Drive.
A spokesman for the developers said: “This proposal has been designed to encourage investment and growth to the surrounding areas.
“The proposals deliver a variety of retail units at sizes that are fit for purpose for today’s market. The proposals will be finished to the highest quality to ensure the longevity of the scheme.
“The proposal will contribute to achieving sustainable development through the creation of jobs, investment and the regeneration of a derelict and long term vacant site.”
But traffic concerns were top of the agenda during a consultation with neighbouring residents and councillors.
The surrounding area is already home to Leamington Shopping Park, Tachbrook Park, four supermarkets, various other shops, and Myton and Warwick schools.
A Leam Road resident told The Observer: “This would be the last straw. We have already considered moving because of the nightmare traffic. There are certain times of the day when the roads are just bumper to bumper stationary traffic, and building a new retail park is nothing short of madness.”
But developers argue the land had been included for development in Warwick District Council’s Local Plan and did not believe the new retail park would create a ‘severe’ impact on surrounding roads.