A major new mixed-use development on a key site in Stratford has moved a step nearer.
Local businessman Peter Warwick owns a string of properties on the junction of Birmingham Road and Arden Street and has agreed an option to buy further land adjacent to the site with Stratford District Council.
The land, which includes the Windsor Street Car Park, will allow his company Gateway One to put forward plans for a development which could include retail, residential and offices as well as a boutique hotel.
A new car park will be created to replace the existing car park in Windsor Street while a new drop-off point will be created for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
Mr Warwick said the deal, which was agreed with the council before Christmas after two years of negotiation, would allow the creation of a development fit for such a key location.
“I have long recognised the importance of this location and started purchasing property along Birmingham Road and into Arden Street as long ago as 2001,” he said.
“To create a true gateway development, the sort that the location needs, I have had to ensure that there was enough land assembled.
“It would have been far easier to develop out the buildings already owned rather than look to the long term, but I have always believed that this is a perfect site for a mixed-use development which is a fitting welcome to the town centre of Stratford.
“This has not been an easy process and we are delighted to have reached this agreement with Stratford District Council, who also see the need for the site to be developed in a fitting way.
“Our professional team is in talks with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust about creating new drop-off points and will spend the next few months drawing up plans for the site.
“It is too early to put any time frames on the development but this agreement certainly unlocks the site and will allow us to create something very special.”
The site includes Apex House, the home of Apex Credit Management, one of the largest town centre employers.
Cllr Lynda Organ, Finance and Physical Resources Portfolio of Stratford-on-Avon District Council, said: “This is a great opportunity to regenerate a key entrance to Stratford. Through it we can, replace an aging car park, link the Maybird shopping area with the historic town centre, create new facilities and provide an improved welcome to the many people who visit our town.
“The agreement of the land option is a key milestone in a complex process and demonstrates Stratford District Council’s commitment to ensuring that we create a gateway into Stratford of which people can be proud.”
Mark Armstrong, of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said: “Following an approach from the joint venture partners, we have had an exploratory discussion, and listened to their proposals.
“The coach facility at Windsor Street is absolutely crucial to our business operating one of the nation’s leading tourism destinations. We will need to consider the options and implications for our service to visitors.”
Gateway One was represented by the Birmingham office of JLL and Coventry based Bromwich Hardy, and its legal advisers are DLA Piper.