Council confirms it has shelved controversial plans to move its Leamington headquarters

Controversial plans by Warwick District Council to relocate its Riverside House HQ in Leamington have been shelved, the authority has confirmed.

An artist's impression of Warwick District Councils plan for a new HQ.

Yesterday (Monday September 28) a report made by the Building.co.uk website said the district council will now "take a second look" at how much office space it needs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The council had faced much opposition from Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western, people living and working in the town centre and others to its plans, which involved knocking down Riverside House and building hundreds of new houses on the Milverton Hill site and then building a new office, apartments and multi-storey car-park on the site of the ailing Covent Garden car park in Russell Street.

The council has said: "“Warwick District Council has issued the Official Journal of the European Union notice to formally end the contract award process for the Covent Garden site.

"The Council has yet to make any formal decision on future use of either the Riverside House or Covent Garden sites."

Mr Western has said: “After years of campaigning on behalf of residents and businesses, I’m incredibly pleased to hear that Warwick District Council have finally u-turned on their costly and unnecessary plans to build themselves a new office.

"This is the right decision for the local community.

“However, we know that millions of the public’s money has been wasted and sunk into this project.

"We need an honest and transparent assessment of exactly how much has gone to companies such as PSP, and I hope that the council will now attempt to clawback as much as possible.

“Thank you to all who helped in this campaign.

"I will always stand up for our community to ensure public bodies at all levels are held to account.”