Warwick District Council is supposed to proceed according to the Local Plan, approved in September 2007. The proposed Clarendon Arcade development is completely inconsistent with the Local Plan in a number of important ways.The Local Plan says ‘development will only be permitted which positively contributes to the character and quality of its environment through good layout and design’. The Local Plan goes on to give examples. The first is that development should only be permitted if it ‘harmonises with, or enhances, the existing settlement in terms of physical form, patterns of movement and land-use’. The local plan goes on to say that development should ‘reflect, respect and reinforce local architectural and historical distinctiveness’ and should ’respect surrounding buildings in terms of scale, height, form and massing’.
The over-massing of the proposed Clarendon Arcade development, its removal of three streets from Leamington’s historic layout, and its very close proximity to and overshadowing of Victorian residential properties, make a complete nonsense of the Local Plan. If the district council planning committee approved the proposal, then they would be flying in the face of their own Local Plan! If a local individual put in an application that contradicted the Local Plan, it would never get planning permission! Why should the district council get away with ignoring the requirements of their own Local Plan? It would be a scandal if the proposal is approved. - Jill Hopper, Clarendon Avenue, Leamington.