Plans to store buses outside warehouse in busy Warwick industrial estate given go ahead despite concerns

Plans to store buses outside a warehouse in a busy bust Warwick industrial estate have been given the go ahead despite concerns from neighbouring businesses.

The Warwickshire County Council scheme to refurbish the empty unit in Hawkes Drive on the Heathcote Industrial Estate was agreed by councillors at this week’s regulatory committee of the county council on Tuesday.

Heathcote Industrial Estate. Photo by Google Street View.

Heathcote Industrial Estate. Photo by Google Street View.

But they were told that there had been fears raised by nearby firms with one complaining: “Severe congestion already exists in this area, hampered by narrow roads and on-street parking, which will be even further exacerbated by the inclusion of buses moving backwards and forwards on this route - not to mention restricting access to the roundabout at the end of Hawkes Drive.”

It is proposed that the warehouse will be occupied by a range of county council departments including libraries, museums, music and archaeology. A number of these will relocate from other premises.

In addition, the site will also house 14 buses in the yard and the site will be altered to increase car parking which will see bushes and trees removed from the rear of the warehouse - planting that currently screens the site from the main road.

The county council’s own highways department said that a traffic regulation order would be needed to clear some of the cars near the entrance to the premises but this flagged up another worry for Cllr Adrian Warwick, who chaired the meeting.

He said: “There’s a lot of parking on the road and the moment you put restrictions in, you displace those vehicles somewhere else and you create a problem elsewhere in the area. What we move from here has to go somewhere.”

But principal planner Ian Grace said other firms needed to do more to help ease the problem.

He said: “I understand the problem but half of the difficulty here is that the vehicles parking on the public highway reflect the fact that some people are using their units and sites too intensively. There is a van hire company where you pick up your van on the public highway!

“The answer is for each individual firm to make provision for its own traffic. Our site will make provision so that people visiting will be able to park up - if every unit on this estate did that then we wouldn’t have a problem.”

The plans were unanimously approved by councillors.