Residents stand firm in objection to Leamington Pump Rooms plan - The Leamington Observer

Residents stand firm in objection to Leamington Pump Rooms plan

RESIDENTS are standing firm in their opposition to plans to transform part of the Pump Rooms in Leamington into council offices.

Council chiefs previously gave their approval for the reception area of the historic Grade II listed building to be given over to a customer service area following the closure of Warwick District Council’s HQ earlier this year.

And now WDC’s planning committee will decide whether to give their consent to detailed plans about what that transformation from reception area to customer service area will include.

According to documents to go before members of the planning committee on Wednesday (October 11), works to the reception area will include the removal of all modern roller shutters as well as the removal of a modern door and partition wall to the back office and replacement with a new door and glazed panel. There will also be the installation of a solid partition wall with clerestory glazing to replace the roller shutters.

The foyer is currently home to a cafe, library and art gallery as well as a shop, which will have to be relocated to make room for the customer services department for WDC’s homelessness officer and housing services department.

The planning committee is recommended to approve this application despite a raft of opposition to the pump rooms being given over for council office use.

Leamington Town Council has submitted its objections to the plans as it believes the change of use is contrary to what the building was designed for and will have significant detrimental changes to the aesthetic experience, due to loss of light and vista, as well as inappropriate partitioning.

There have also been 136 letters of objection from the public.

Concerns include loss of light and openness to the foyer, the loss of the visitor shop, the space will be less attractive, it will change the character of the entrance area, lack of parking provision and the glazing will provide no privacy to those using the proposed space.

There were three letters in support of the application stating it is already a multi-functional space so adding another useful function is sensible and the design will use more of the cavernous space, lending intimacy to what is a rather stark and hard environment.

Planning officers, in recommending that councillors grant the application, said that the proposed works were to a late 20th century addition to the site and were internal so would have negligible impact on the conservation area.

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