THE secretive sudden departure of Coventry council’s conservation officer Chris Patrick amid heightened hostility to certain attempts to preserve our heritage is extremely concerning, with City of Culture 2021 approaching.
He was diligent in formally objecting and raising concerns about, for example, the imposing student tower blocks plan next to grade I and II listing buildings.
Councillor Jim O’Boyle has used ‘tongue-in-cheek’ language of “Tarquins” in “tweed” towards Historic England officers who have had more city centre buildings listed.
Yet, to be fair, he has also championed schemes which strike compromise between economic development and preserving heritage, such as at the Co-operative building and the Upper Precinct escalator removal.
So let’s hope for compromises for the planned Upper Precinct redevelopment, including from developers who must recognise Coventry’s unique historic character.