Historic former hotel in Kenilworth to be demolished - The Leamington Observer

Historic former hotel in Kenilworth to be demolished

Leamington Editorial 24th Apr, 2024   0

HUGELY unpopular plans to demolish an historic former Kenilworth hotel and replace it with houses have been given the go-ahead.

A petition was launched by residents in December calling on Warwick District Council to reconsider its proposed decision to knock down Woodside Hotel and Conference Centre in Glasshouse Lane to make way for 55 new homes.

But despite attracting 237 signatures, WDC’s planning committee approved the proposal when they meet on Tuesday (April 16).

All the buildings on the site will now be demolished, including the original house known as ‘Woodside’ – originally ‘Glass House’ , a stable block and a number of later 20th century additions. The original core buildings are locally listed.

The former hotel and conference centre has not been open since the beginning of the Covid restrictions in March 2020.

The business subsequently went into administration and was unable to attract a potential buyer to continue operating.

Matt Shepherd, who launched the petition on Boxing Day, said the loss of a significant heritage site raised concerns that extended beyond the confines of architectural value to impact the community at large.

He continued: “The demolition of the Woodside Hotel threatens the fabric of our community. Residents who have cherished memories associated with the hotel, along with those who have grown up with its historical significance, will witness the erasure of a vital piece of our local identity. Moreover, the proposed construction of 43 houses and a block of 12 apartments could alter the neighborhood dynamics and disrupt the harmonious balance that currently exists.”

Kenilworth Town Council also objected on a number of grounds including challenging the conclusion Woodside was a heritage asset of ‘low significance’, as well as there being no need for additional development within that area of Kenilworth.

MP for Kenilworth and Southam, Sir Jeremy Wright has also spoken out about his concerns.

He said: “I do not believe the basis for the replacement of the local heritage asset in the Woodside Conference Centre with more housing would be appropriate and hope the application will be refused.”

WDC planning officers recommend the committee grant the application on the grounds that following an assessment based on an official list of criteria, Woodside Hotel was not considered a significant enough heritage asset to prevent any demolition works.

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