29th Jun, 2022

Plan to turn historic Coventry pub into homes set for approval - despite latest petition

Felix Nobes 6th Jun, 2019 Updated: 6th Jun, 2019

CONTROVERSIAL plans to redevelop a historic Coventry pub will go before planners for a third time – prompting another petition from residents.

Council officers are recommending councillors grant planning consent.

It follows ‘inaccuracies’ in the developers’ previous report and false claims over the site being used as a bail hostel or to house paedophiles.

Developer APSE Building Design Ltd is seeking a lease to turn the Old Crown Inn, Windmill Road, into a 12-bed House in Multiple Occupation (HIMO).

In an ongoing planning saga, the plans were first rejected in February after councillors asked for assurances that the house would not be used as a hostel after objections from local residents – culminating in a petition with 166 signatures.

After it returned in April, the planning committee objected to inaccuracies in the developers’ Community Use Report, which councillors cast doubt on the overall ‘validity of the scheme’.

It was deferred once more and is now set to return to a planning meeting next week (June 13) after mistakes were ‘corrected accordingly’, an officer’s report states.

Before the meeting in April, a fake letter had been distributed among residents in Longford, warning that the site could be used by paedophiles – which led to 18 letters of objection.

This was on top of fears the site would be used as a bail hostel or a halfway house for former convicts.

The latest bid, recommended for approval by council officers subject to conditions, includes a communal kitchen area, basement and 10 car parking spaces.

Another petition has now been launched against the latest plans which has attracted 261 signatures, and there have been six letters of objection.

The petition states: “We object to this for many reasons but primarily due to the location of the proposal, which is situated in close proximity to a primary school, namely Longford Park Primary School, which consists of young, vulnerable and impressionable children.”

Other opposition centres on the loss of a long-established community centre and increased traffic.

The developers’ marketing report found the pub was ‘unviable’ and had suffered a significant decline in sales over the last decade – and was at the ‘end of life’.

It has also now compiled a list of alternative pubs within walking distance.

The report states: “The proposed development is considered to be acceptable in principle and will not result in any significant impact upon visual amenity, heritage assets, neighbour amenity or highway safety, subject to relevant conditions.”

Officers also confirmed using the building as a bail hostel or half-way house is not possible without a different class of planning approval altogether.

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