The next meeting: How well do you know your city?
It’s Coventry Society’s annual QUIZ NIGHT Monday, January 9 at 7.30pm at the Whitefriar’s Olde Ale House, Gosford Street Make a team of 4 with friends or join a team on the night. Admission and entry free with prizes.
After a series of talks with Council Coventry Boys’ Club opposite. Both officials the Society has been found a of these organisations have been site near to the city centre where a consulted and are keen to be small pocket park can be created as involved. Coventry University with its part of Coventry 2012. large population of students is also We first mooted the concept in the just a short distance away. hope that a community project would So the initial idea can be very much a transform one of two derelict sites off community based project in what is Corporation Street. For various otherwise something of a backwater. reasons it wasn’t possible to progress There are various options we need to these and instead a derelict area at consider when it comes to a design Potential: (above) the area of land is next door to the Whitefriars Lane has now been and of course a key element of the pedestrian subway linking with Whitefriars; identified and offered. project will be the involvement of the (below) children enjoying a pocket park The creation of small open spaces two adjacent organisations. away from the bustle of city centre It’s envisaged that the landscaping streets is a concept that’s been would provide an interesting facility around for years. It came to Coventry for the young people who attend the with the making of a temporary green play centre as well as the general area on the corner of Lower Hill public. Street where prefabricated shops The question of whether it is were constructed after the last war. available ‘out of hours’ to avoid With the downturn in the economy misuse is a matter for debate, but and fewer new builds coming forward clearly we need to research how this oasis of green appears to have other similar projects have been become a more permanent feature. undertaken and the outcomes. Now a temporary greened up area The committee would like to involve Coventry Society members and supporters in this opposite the Transport Museum at 123 Upper Spon Street, Coventry CV1 3BQ Tel: 07855 113973 venture and will appreciate any offers Millennium Place has taken shape Email: firstname.lastname@example.org of help in the consultation process, and has proved very popular. Follow us on twitter @covsoc planning or even construction. Currently the site we have been offered at Whitefriars Lane is used as It’s certainly a departure from our normal course of activity. Please let a storage compound by Balfour More news and views at: the Chairman or any member of the Beatty and is surrounded by a www.coventrysociety.org.uk security fence. It’s next door to the committee have your thoughts and Tiny Tim Children’s Centre with offers.
The House of Commons and Local Government Committee has the economy and the environment in equal measure; published the report of its enquiry into the national Planning Development should be guided by the principles of brownfield Policy Framework. It quotes Civic Voice eight times (as many as first and town centre first and in exceptional cases there should be the National Trust) and proposes a suite of reforms that would absolute protection for some town centres from out‐of‐town bring common sense changes to the planning policy review. development; Local authorities should include an allowance for Civic Voice gave written and oral evidence to the inquiry. ‘windfall sites’ when allocating land for housing development— including an allowance for these usually brownfield sites that It concluded: There is no conclusive evidence that the planning cannot be planned for but which contribute significantly to system is a barrier to economic development; housing land supply. Local Plans should be the centrepiece of the planning system; The final NPPF is promised in February. Sustainable development should embrace the needs of people,
Another hot food takeaway (Class A5) is about to open in the decided that secondary shopping in the area needed support and Spon Street Conservation Area after a successful appeal, this the boundaries of the central Primary Shopping Area were application having been turned down by the Council in 2009. redrawn to include Spon Street. The new policy was In 2010 an alternative plan for an Internet Café (daytime) and incorporated into the emerging City Centre Area Action Plan hot food takeaway (night economy) was put forward. This was (CCAAP) but sadly, was not submitted to the Secretary of State approved, allaying the concerns of shopkeepers who are ever for confirmation. Because of this the CCAAPO was considered to anxious to see a significant improvement in day trading. have limited weight, while on the other hand the 2001 policy was Now, the latest news that the Class A5 is successful will be a blow seen as cause to judge the application in relation to surrounding leisure uses—pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, the Skydome and of to retailers. It effectively means that another business will be course the three established takeaways. closed for business in the daytime. The Inspectorate also concluded that A1 use (daytime) was an When the Spon Street Townscape was set up as an area of quality businesses traders were closely vetted for suitability. unnecessary condition. The first shock came after the Skydome development opened Clearly the Inspector’s Report goes against the Council’s future with its nightclubs. By 2001 the area had been re‐designated for policy (the Emerging Core Strategy) and its best intentions. But social, community, tourism and leisure (CDP Policy CC18). Over Spon Street now has four takeaway outlets and that can only lead to an ever diminishing quality retail offer. the next ten years the street went into a decline. Keith Draper, Chairman to Spon Street Traders A change of attitude came about later in 2010 when the Council COMMENT on Unsafe is Safe (December newsletter) With reference to: "One word of caution [...] at Millennium Place where insistence on putting rows of planters to create a ‘virtual guardrail’ has encouraged buses to go faster and make that ‘shared space’ crossing more dangerous." George Riches writes: “I wonder about the effect of the road surface texture difference between Hales Street and Fairfax Street. Currently it looks as if traffic travelling north‐south between Fairfax Street and White Street has priority over that coming from Millennium Place. This leads to Millennium Place being blocked by waiting buses. Bus drivers travelling over Millennium Place towards Pool Meadow become impatient with pedestrians; they know that they will have to be assertive with motorists at the junction outside Pool Meadow's main entrance. One alternative would be to have road markings giving east‐west Rights of way: Buses at the controversial ‘shared space’ outside traffic priority over traffic going to or from the north. Another the Sainsbury’s supermarket alternative would be to place a mini‐roundabout directly outside Pool Meadow's main entrance. the attractiveness of that route for motorists. It also means that Giving priority to traffic crossing Millennium Place over that traffic queues will shift from Millennium Place to the southbound link between White Street and Pool Meadow.” coming from or to White Street has the advantage of reducing
Cheylesmore pub site
A meeting of the city council’s planning committee on January 12 will decide the fate of An appeal has been lodged against the the old Cheylesmore pub site ‐ which has been derelict for several years. Council’s refusal of planning permission Supermarket chain Asda, which now owns the site, has submitted two alternative designs for Peugeot’s storage and distribution for a new local store which they say will complement their existing larger store at warehouse on Plot 1 at Lyons Park. Whitley. One proposal envisages a “modern” functional design whilst the other is The proposed building, that would labelled as “art deco”. operate 24/7, would clearly have a An alternative scheme for the site, submitted by the Cheylesmore Community considerable impact on the surrounding Association, proposes a new Community Centre which is intended to replace the existing residential area and Green Belt at facilities in Poitiers Road. Coundon Wedge. Formal consultation on the Asda proposals ended on December 29 but comments on the In the outline planning permission for Community Centre application can still be made until January 9. Lyons Park the Council had already The planning committee will consider all three options at the same meeting ‐ which is stated that large warehousing on Plot 1 open to the public and scheduled to begin at 2pm on Thursday January 12 at the would not be suitable, yet Peugeot’s Council House. Ask at reception for details of the committee room. John Marshall current proposal is even higher and Details of all applications can be found on the council website – search for the Asda larger than the outline plans show. proposals by using reference numbers FUL/2011/2171 and FUL/2011/2170 and for the This development would clearly be better suited to Peugeot’s former site Community Centre proposal using reference number OUT/2011/2244. at Ryton.