Better communication is needed over Abbey Fields development in Kenilworth, says town council
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Plans have been put forward to improve communications between the council and residents over the Abbey Fields leisure development in Kenilworth.
In view of ongoing delays to the pool development, residents have complained that they need more information about what is going on.
And with work being halted due to archaeological finds, the campaign group Kenilworth Lido Group has also called for a complete rethink of the development and to bring back the town's outdoor pool.
District councillors have already said that plans are too far advanced for them to turn back now but the group put their views forward at a recent Kenilworth Town Council meeting, and town councillors said their views will be taken on board.
At the same meeting, Cllr Zoe Leventhal (Green, Kenilworth Abbey) put forward a four-point plan for to make sure local views are at the centre of any further decisions and that residents are kept informed at all stages. The plan was passed unanimously.
Cllr Leventhal said: “The delays have created a serious impact on the appearance, walkways, and playgrounds, as well as disrupting annual events like the duck race. We are pleased that district councillors have worked hard to open the toddler area up every day through the school holidays, but there is more to be done.”
She added: “We consider that it is imperative, firstly, that the district council has the benefit of the views of the town council, as representatives of the local community, when making further decisions about the development; secondly, that further disruption at Abbey Fields is kept to a minimum; and thirdly, that the public are kept properly informed about what is going on at each stage”.
She welcomed the recent published information from the district council which explained how a team of archaeologists are due to report to district councillors in the coming months about how the archaeological findings will affect the next steps for the scheme, including on cost and timescales
This is provided each month and will be published on the town council website. The discovery of the archaeological remains has set the project back about a six months so far.
Speaking earlier this month, Cllr Chris King at Warwick District Council said: “Throughout this project we’ve been mindful of the historic significance of Abbey Fields and the need to carefully balance the future needs of our local community, whilst ensuring that the integrity of the scheduled monument is retained.
"Our position on this hasn’t changed and in the coming weeks we will work with our contractual partners and Historic England to reach the best possible outcome.”
WDC has said that an update report will be brought to councillors as soon as the best solution and new timescales for the construction work have been agreed.
On the remains, Neil Rimmington, an inspector of ancient monuments for Historic England, said: “The quality and extent of these archaeological remains is remarkable and provide an amazing insight into the history and everyday life of this monastic site.”