Bath Place dreams in tatters after refusal

Firefighters at Bath Place Community Venture in 2009
Firefighters at Bath Place Community Venture in 2009

Bath Place Community Venture’s hopes of building a new community centre on its former site have been shattered.

The venture had been the tenant at the former All Saints Primary School, which was gutted by fire in 2009.

Since then the venture has been looking for a new permanent home and when the Victorian building was put up for sale last year, it made plans to buy and regenerate the site.

But at a meeting at Shire Hall last Thursday, Warwickshire county councillors opted to support a different scheme.

Clayton Denwood, Bath Place’s project manager, said: “We are of course hugely disappointed that WCC cabinet has decided against our proposal given we have spent over 18 months and a considerable amount of charitable funds towards the goal of redeveloping Bath Place.

“We obviously feel that our plan provides the best option for local people and that, given the wide support from the local community, our partner organisations, Leamington Town Council, the Leamington Building Conservation Trust and the endorsement of Warwick District Council’s planning department, we are grateful that the decision has been called in for overview and scrutiny.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has supported us over these difficult months and especially our local county councillors Bill Gifford, Matt Western, Jon Chilvers and Jenny St John, who have given much of their time to help argue our case and also Chris White, our MP, who has assisted us and offered so much support and guidance.”

Mr Denwood said that, judging by the impression he had been given over the last 12 months, he was not surprised by the outcome of the meeting.

He added: “We understand the pressures on County Council finances at the moment but we still believe we can be a part of the long-term solution to making sure that South and Central Leamington has adequate services and 
community support.”