SEP 00] WARWICK
DISTRICT COUNCIL NEWS
Demolition To Help Priors Win Back Shoppers
Shops could be
demolished to make way for an extension to Leamington’s main
shopping centre and help the town reclaim shoppers it has lost to
Coventry and Solihull.
The extension to
Leamington’s Royal Priors Shopping centre is set to get the go-ahead
and see a nearby open area brought into the 1987 development.
Whitehead Court would
be knocked down if the plans are approved. The pedestrian square, with
some small shops and pedestrian access into Park Street, runs from
Warwick Street into the Priors.
The plans ask for
demolition of the buildings in Whitehead Court and Westwood House, and
keep the shops in Priorsgate, making an extension to the Priors
There would be three
new shops trading on two levels, two kiosks, and rooftop car parking.
One of the existing shopkeepers has objected to becoming part of an
enclosed shopping area. Although six traders could have to move, there
have been no other objections to the project.
The names of the new
traders have not been revealed, but there has been plenty of
speculation as to which big names could be coming to Leamington
including the clothing chain Gap. The new shops are intended to bring
in bigger names to the town.
There would be a new
glazed entrance to shopping mall from Warwick Street, which would
incorporate the Priorsgate shops from Waterstones to Wax Lyrical
within the Priors.
There would be
alterations to the pavement on Warwick Street, which would introduce a
‘pedestrian-friendly’ environment and safer crossing point for
entry into the Priors.
Inside the Priors,
there would be a refurbishment of the existing centre and moving the
escalators, replacing and upgrading ceilings, lighting and balustrades
to fit in with the extension.
planning officer for Warwick District Council, is recommending
councillors approve the planning application. He said:
“Recent work by
Roger Tym and Partners and James Land LaSalle has shown that
Leamington is falling behind its competitors, such as Coventry and
Solihull, and needs to reclaim shoppers from its catchment area who,
or could be, drawn to other centres.
significant gap is in the provision of large units, which cannot be
easily accommodated within the historic fabric of central
offers one of the new opportunities to create the space needed to
attract national multiple retailers
“In design terms,
the proposals replace 1960s and 1980s development s with a
sympathetic contemporary design, respecting the streetscape of the
Regency terrace in terms of scale, rhythm and massing.”