A MAJOR new gateway development in Stratford has moved a step closer.
Local businessman Peter Warwick, who wants to develop the site at the junction of Birmingham Road and Arden Street, has agreed an option deal to buy more land from Stratford District Council.
The deal for the land, which includes the Windsor Street car park, mean his company Gateway One can finally put forward plans for a development which could include shops, homes, offices and a luxury hotel.
A new car park would replace the existing car park in Windsor Street and a new drop-off point would be created for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
Mr Warwick said the deal, which was agreed with the council after two years of negotiation, would allow the creation of a development fit for the area.
He said: “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.
“To create a true gateway development, the sort that the location needs, I have had to ensure that there was enough land assembled.
“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.
“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.”
Coun Lynda Organ, district council finance chief, said the plans offered a “great opportunity” to regenerate a key entrance to Stratford.
She added: “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.”
But the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is concerned at the potential impact on visitors.
Spokesman Mark Armstrong said: “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.”