28th Jun, 2022

Portable loo moved off grave at Coventry's Holy Trinity Church - after outcry

Felix Nobes 5th Jun, 2019 Updated: 5th Jun, 2019

A PORTABLE LOO plonked on a grave in Coventry’s cathedral conservation area has been moved after public outcry.

As we reported in last week’s Coventry Observer, a skip, builders’ cabins and vehicles were also dumped around gravestones in the graveyard at Holy Trinity Church, Priory Row, city centre.

Builders have been installing much-needed new toilets at the Grade I listed building, part of city’s famous medieval quarter.

The red loo has now been moved away from the grave, as our picture shows.

Other equipment remains at the burial site, which the church told us last week is due to the cramped space available to builders.

The church’s secretary to the buildings committee, Bill Johnson, said: “We have now reached a point in the contract where it would be possible to allocate one of our existing loos to the contractor’s workforce and after discussion with the church office it was agreed to do this as soon as possible.

“Obviously the public concern has helped us make an early decision to remove the portaloo as soon as was practical.

“Unfortunately space is very limited and our contractors are running two church projects at the same time, so I do not think that there could be any further reduction in site equipment at this stage.”

Workers have also been repairing its roof which would see the church removed from Historic England’s register of ‘at-risk’ places.

It has sparked outrage on social media, with some commenters slamming workers for showing ‘no respect’ for the dead, while one said it made them want to cry.

Local campaigner Richard Heneghan tweeted: “We are City of Culture but we permit people to park their vans and take dumps on top of graves?”

Director of building contractor Midlands Conservation Limited (MCL), Jason Graham, told us last week: “We agreed a location for the toilet that was positioned between two back to back graves in a very difficult area of the churchyard to erect a site compound.

“It is always an unsightly addition to a contractors’ compound and now we have completed the construction of a new toilet block extension for the church the temporary site facility will be leaving site very soon.

“This is the fourth phase of essential restoration work that MCL have been commissioned to undertake by the church and on each occasion a similar size compound has always been delicately positioned around the graveyard to try and avoid all direct contact to the graves.”

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