TENNIS courts in Leamington’s Christchurch Gardens are set to be turned into a car park.
The proposal is part of Warwick District Council’s plans to create more parking while the authority’s new headquarters are built at nearby Covent Garden, which will also see the building of a new and larger multi-storey car park.
Proposals for 80 permanent surface car parking spaces in place of the existing tennis courts in Christchurch Gardens, also known as Top Park, are among a number of recommendations set to be discussed by the councillors next week.
A so-called car park displacement strategy has been drawn up to help cover the period between the closure of the existing Covent Garden car park, currently providing 468 spaces, and the opening of the new 617 space multi-storey, which is expected to be around Christmas 2020.
Other proposals include 50 permanent surface car parking spaces at Princes Drive; 37 permanent surface parking spaces at Archery Road opposite tennis courts in Victoria Park; and up to 80 temporary surface parking spaces at Court Street in Old Town.
The proposals also include using the existing car park at the council’s Riverside House headquarters on Milverton Hill as public parking at weekends throughout the closure of Covent Garden. The site will be developed for housing when the council moves to its new headquarters.
The car park displacement strategy is set to cost around £770,000.
Royal Leamington Spa Chamber of Trade raised concerns last November at the potential impact on business from the closure of Covent Garden car park – which currently provides around 30 per cent of off-street parking in the town.
Speaking at the time, district council leader Andrew Mobbs said the authority understood the need for a “robust” parking displacement strategy” was something the council took “extremely seriously”.
He added: “The development of the Covent Garden site will bring significant economic benefits to the town centre and its businesses in terms of increased footfall and the improvement of a vital gateway site.
The council’s Executive Committee will discuss the proposals on Wednesday February 7.