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TRADERS IN ATTACK ON SHIRE HALL HQ; Revamp row hits Warwick.

A MILLION-POUND revamp of Warwick's Market Place is being marred by an "ugly concrete blot on the landscape", say traders.

The scathing attack on Shire Hall was made by the town's Chamber of Trade, who say nothing is being done to improve Warwickshire County Council's crumbling headquarters.

But council bosses have hit back, claiming the site is a fine example of 1960s architecture.

The dispute broke out after the Chamber of Trade's newsletter accused the council of spending thousands refurbishing offices but neglecting the outside.

Council officers have strongly denied the claims and say the remarks are "shocking and scurrilous".

Chairman of Warwick Chamber of Trade Peter Sellors said: "Shire Hall is the most despised building in

Warwick - it's a blot on the landscape and a star performer on the worst buildings in Britain list.

"A fortune is being spent on the Market Place redevelopment and we're doing our best to create a town centre with historic echoes of a county town.

"An ugly concrete building from the 1960s extending along one side of the square doesn't really fit in with what we are trying to achieve."

Peter Ridley, Warwick-shire County Coun-cil's director of property services said: "These comments are scurrilous. We have not carried out a major refurbishment inside the building. All we've done is change a members' room into a meeting room for committee purposes.

"Shire Hall has been described as one of the finest pieces of 60s architecture by planning experts in the past."
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Author:Keay, Rebecca
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Oct 19, 1999
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