Coventry Council defends city centre south regeneration - The Coventry Observer

Coventry Council defends city centre south regeneration

Coventry Editorial 18th Dec, 2022   0

COUNCILLOR Jim O’Boyle has defended plans for the City Centre South regeneration after they were criticised by Coventry Citizens Party founder Ian Rogers.

The regeneration covers areas including Hertford Street, Market Way, City Arcade and Bull Yard and intends to create a vibrant new central quarter for the city over the next decade.

It is being developed by Shearer Property Regen Ltd and boasts up to 1,500 new homes, including 20 per cent affordable housing and socially rented accommodation, alongside new shops and public open space.

Mr Rogers described the redevelopment as a ‘radical experiment’ by the council, adding he felt the authority was ‘hoping to set a new trend on how city centre models were changing’.

He added the changes to the area are ‘felt forced and would turn the city centre upside down’ and slammed the plans for not including any flexible office space and ‘too much unaffordable accommodation’.

“The plans also fail to support small and independent retailers due to higher rents – this appears to be an unbalanced approach with the developer and the council ignoring independent research and throwing the traditional city centre model in the bin.

“I believe the plans should include an open-air promenade leading to the market instead of a new pavilion building, helping to enhance the position of the market and draw more visitors towards it.

“In addition, the plans should include a new plaza or public square on the other side of the market, opposite the former IKEA building to help draw more visitors to the market and create a new public space.”

Coun O’Boyle, cabinet member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change, said: “Our precinct progression over the last few years is a great example of what we’re planning and 44 per cent of businesses in the city centre are now independent.

“This is the biggest plan for social housing Coventry has had for many decades at a time when there is great demand.

“In terms of office space, we are developing Two Friargate which will complement One Friargate, we can’t confine everything to one area of the city centre, there needs to be a flow.

“This is a multi-faceted development that has taken many years that will bring forward part of the city centre in a way that will be completely transformational.

“At a time when people criticise development on greenfields, the fact this will be development on brownfield sites should be celebrated, and there will also be two-and-a-half hectares of green space.

“If we don’t do anything the city centre will continue to deteriorate, nearly 30 per cent of shopping is done online so the way city centres operate has changed, people now want an experience.”


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