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Council faces judicial review challenge over redevelopment plan and new HQ

Warwick District Council has been threatened with judicial review by a local campaign group over a redevelopment plan in Leamington Spa that would provide it with new offices.

A council statement said: “The council confirms that it received a letter on 17 May setting out a series of concerns relating to its decision to grant planning approval for the Covent Garden and Riverside House planning applications.

“The letter indicated that the authors were considering applying to the courts for a judicial review.”

It said Warwick had made “a point by point response to the letter setting out its firm belief that the planning committee decisions were both lawful and fully compliant with all relevant procedures, contrary to the view of the letter’s authors”.

The council intends to vacate its Riverside House offices, which it said had become too large and costly, and move to a smaller and more centrally located building.

As part of the scheme a multi-storey car park would be demolished and replaced and 44 flats would be built.

Warwick said it would normally seek 40% of homes as affordable in planning applications of more than 11 dwellings. 

It had though chosen not to insist on this after receiving a viability assessment from the developer.

Leader Andrew Mobbs said: “It’s disappointing that some people feel we haven’t followed correct procedures as I am very clear that everything we do is fully compliant with all our legal responsibilities, but more importantly is for the benefit of the whole district and all its residents, even if those decisions are unpopular with some.”

Cllr Mobbs said the scheme would provide “a major boost to the local economy and benefits for local businesses”.

Mark Smulian

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