5th Dec, 2016

Coventry Council reveal plans to revamp city centre

Coventry Editorial 16th Oct, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

THE FACE of the centre of Coventry could radically change under council plans to re-open historic links between Broadgate and Hertford Street.

Coventry City Council is seeking planning permission to demolish the Nationwide building, added in 1970, to remove the extension that juts into Hertford Street.

It would return a bridge link at the junction, and Grade II listed Broadgate House, to their original designs and conditions.

Luckily, when the infill where the Nationwide is now was added, the original bridge link was covered over rather than changed.

That has meant original sculptures facing Hertford Street are still in good condition and would be visible again.

If planning permission is secured by the council’s planning committee, the plans might then need government approval because the buildings are Grade II listed.

Broadgate House was one of the first buildings to be completed after the war – part of then city architect Donald Gibson’s masterplan for the city to re-build itself.

It is considered to be among the best surviving buildings in the city from Gibson’s original plan, and one of the few Festival of Britain-style buildings remaining nationally.

Leader of Coventry City Council, Coun Ann Lucas, said many local people would be keen to see the connection between Broadgate and Hertford Street restored, adding: “No-one wants this more than me.”

She added: “Broadgate House is one of our finest post war buildings and it is rightly much loved.

“I’m sure the infill seemed sensible at the time – but there is no doubt it has ruined the look of the building and it has hidden some really impressive art that was designed to help us remember the past and look forward to the future.

“But if we can open this up again, both areas will benefit and we will have completed a fantastic new connection from the station, through Bull Yard, up through Hertford Street and into Broadgate.”