Good news from Copsewood. Les Fawcett writes: “Restoration of the Grange and the Lodge is progressing slowly. New floor joists are being inserted into the Grange and the roof trusses are due next week. Brickwork for the extension to the Lodge is also due next week. So there will be something to see for the months of demolition and repair work. After a shaky history, the future of this historic site is assured at last.
The concerns about HMOs (houses in multiple occupancy and developments in the main for a growing student population) continue to be a dominant issue across the UK. So no apologies for another lead article that continues the dialogue started last month in our newsletter. Letters followed from two members. But first, an interesting piece of legislation that came to light through the National HMO Lobby: Quote: ‘Statutory Instrument 1990 No.162 The Standard Community Charge and Non-Domestic Rating (Definition of Domestic Property) Order states: “Property is not domestic property if it is wholly or mainly used in the course of business for the provision of short-stay accommodation, that is to say accommodation which is provided for short periods to individuals whose sole or main residence is elsewhere…” which surely applies to HMOs. The solution to this thorny problem appears to be clear, reclassify HMOs as businesses because they clearly are. Domination by Multiple Occupancy Paul Maddocks, who lives in the heart of an area already dominated by HMOs writes: Through Coventry Action for Neighbourhoods we were promised that the City Council would keep an eye on the number of houses in certain areas being changed into Houses of Multiple Occupancy. They said that they would monitor the situation alongside the city’s new Local Plan and considered the situation would be better in the future. However the evidence in areas like Stoke, Earlsdon, Chapelfields and now Cannon Park indicates an ever increasing number of applications (and often retrospect applications) to create multiple occupancy. We do have a housing problem and changing family homes into HMOs will not help. Until Article 4 Direction is part of Coventry's planning law nothing will change. Already over 50 other councils up and down the country have Article 4 Direction including Leamington Spa. It's a simple process that sets a maximum percentage of multiple occupancy in a given area. Target an older age of occupant George Riches also writes: “I read that the current "free for all" has led to the conversion of many houses into multiple household buildings (sometimes with shared facilities). Many people believe this is all about student accommodation. When so much of Coventry was built, in the late Victorian and inter-war years, the average household size was a lot higher than it is today. For decades, there's been a trend to smaller households across all age groups. Marriages break up and many over 65's live in housing which is unnecessarily large. So shouldn't we be thinking less of trying to restrict conversions and more about encouraging the conversions to be targeted at an older age of occupant? While the regulations changed in 2010 requiring HMO’s to apply for planning permission, there’s still a need to preserve communities from destabilisation. Property not domestic property really should be reclassified and an Article 4 Direction would also help communities enormously.
Colin Elliff, BSc CEng MICE, is the creator of High Speed UK (HSUK) and is its Civil Engineering Principal. HSUK is a fully designed alternative scheme to HS2 which is £21billion cheaper than HS2 with many advantages and few disadvantages. Colin will be describing the exciting proposals HSUK has made for the development of the rail network in the West Midlands including Coventry.
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A e e t o e y Histo i E gla d has gi e the Ci i Ce t e T o uildi g o Ea l St eet G ade listed status. But Cll Ji O’Boyle, the a i ha ge of ege e atio i Co e t y, has u ged Histo i E gla d ot to get i the ay of ulti- illio -pou d pla s to t a sfo the ity e t e. The e’s a a ti le i the Coventry Telegraph a out the listi g of Ci i Ce t e T o o st u ti g Co e t y U i e sity’s £ ede elop e t pla s. You a ote fo o agai st the listi g at http:// . o e t yteleg aph. et/ e s/ o e t ye s/histo i -e gla d-u ged- ot-killWe hear of a new initiative to restore the Drapers’ Hall after many years of plans that were either abandoned or rejected. The City Cou il has just o pleted its i itial assess e t of se e al ost Historic Coventry Trust is currently working i te esti g he itage assets. The o je t is to o side hethe they eet the on revised proposals based on music ite ia fo Lo al He itage Listi g. Pi tu ed elo lo k ise f o top left a e performance and education as its core use. fou of the sites: The Moto Hotel , uilt i , as used y the Dai le The previous organisation The Drapers' Hall Co pa y to a o odate hauffeu s hile t ai i g at the ea y o ks. Trust has fortunately gifted all previous works No. Sti i hall C oft is a e de ed house desig ed y the e o ed a hite t allowing HCT to make a good start and £1m a d pla e Si F ede i k Gi e d. It as uilt i . No th A e ue as has already been secured towards the project. o st u ted i the ’s sho tly afte the estate at Stoke Pa k as eated. I Funding a lue pla ue as e e ted y the So iety a ki g the p ope ty as the Ian Harrabin, Chairman of the Trust said: “Sadly we have to reapply all over again to ho e of Siegf ied Bett a , o-fou de of the T iu ph Cy le Co pa y. The Heritage Lottery, but the previous Fo este s is a t ia gula shaped pu li house at the ju tio of Ragla St eet, approval indicates a good chance of Al a St eet a d Lo e Fo d St eet. The fi st li e see as Joseph Poole, a at h e g a e a d li e sed i tualle . T o othe sites a e i the assess e t: success. There is a lot of work to do in redesign as the previous proposals a d i ki g fou tai at Top G ee a d the Wate Pu p i Bayley La e. became over-ambitious which is why they didn’t proceed. Our revised scheme will concentrate on restoring the core building for its new use with a limited extension. The primary use will be a place for education and performance of classical music run by Coventry Music Service. Public use The restored rooms will also be available for hire for all sorts of events and for example the ballroom is obviously designed for dancing, but could also be used for a craft market, meetings and lectures, etc. or even formal dinners. We will be providing the facility but it will be up to other local groups to come forward with bookings. There is also intended to be a restaurant of decent quality – we hope one of the best in the city centre, although this is not secured yet. Need for support We plan to restore most of the city’s unused historic buildings over a short 5 year period and maintain this legacy for future generations in Trust ownership. This is a big challenge for an established organisation, even more so for Around 22 members and visitors turned out on a fairly threatening evening a new one. Luckily the major national agencies although we did not actually get soaked. We walked the Sherbourne valley are very supportive, with Coventry now taking allotments along the old mill stream from the former Spon End Mill to Lake View centre stage, which also boosts our chances of Park. We saw numerous points of interest including the old stream known as winning City of Culture. But what we need Conduit Springs Brook, several thousand tons of Blitz spoil and the sometimes above all is to rapidly expand our local support pretty, River Sherbourne. A successful evening. base – not least to show that Coventry people Colin Walker care.
The September 2017 edition of the Coventry Society (UK) newsletter.