More of Coventry’s Heritage Set to be bulldozed

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Plans have been published to demolish three characterful buildings in Warwick Road and replace them with a modern concrete office block (see above).

The plans involve the demolition of 23, 25 and 29 Warwick Road. All three of these buildings demonstrably enhance the character of the Greyfriars Green Conservation Area which adjoins the proposed development. They also make a positive contribution in their own right. There is a very good case to be made to say that these buildings are all worthy of local listing and we are convinced that if Coventry had its own Conservation Officer there would be a strong case for extending the boundary of the Conservation Area to include these buildings.

23 Warwick Road is known as Bank House. It is a modern office building designed by architects Twentyman Percy & Partners for Martin’s Bank and the Royal Insurance Group. It was built in 1965. This building is mentioned in a seminal book on Coventry’s mid-20th century architecture – Coventry New Architecture (Lewison & Billingham, 1969), and in the latest Pevsner. The building shows an important contribution to the artistic and architectural redevelopment of Coventry in the post-war period. The high quality of the design and the materials (marble, glass, ashlar limestone panels, etc) is a good example of Coventry’s ground-breaking post-war reconstruction.

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25 Warwick Road, (formerly known as Clive House and prior to that Fernilea), is a late Victorian villa building overlooking Greyfriars Green. It is a handsome double fronted two storey house with bays to either side of a central door. We believe that it makes an important contribution to the character of the area.

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29 Warwick Road was formerly known as Avonmore. It is another handsome late Victorian Villa – a double fronted two storey house with bays to either side of a central door. It also makes an important contribution to the character of the area.

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The Coventry Society suggests any development in this area needs to consider whether the existing buildings and the space around them can be re-used and adapted.

The Coventry Society is not ‘anti-development’. We agree with Councillor Jim O’Boyle’s quotation “Best of the old, Best of the new”! But this is a key location on the main entrance into the centre of the city and the existing buildings contribute to the sense of place and history.

We challenge the developer’s assertion that views of these buildings are “glimpsed and filtered” from the Conservation Area and that they are “only considered to contribute to the Conservation Area by virtue of their consistent scale and the enclosure they provide to the green and as part of a now fragmented historic townscape”. Their historic nature needs to be considered – their contribution to the historic townscape of this conservation area is considerable.

We request the Planning Committee to give consideration to a sustainable reuse of these buildings, preserving their historic interest and character and the embodied energy of their construction.

You can view the planning application and make online comments here. 

16 thoughts on “More of Coventry’s Heritage Set to be bulldozed

  1. You only need to sit outside Finneys cafe to See how lucky we are to have this historic, green entrance to our city. Or enjoy to enjoy the walk to town from the train station. These buildings must remain; it’s too easy, too lazy to simply pull them down and build another generic ‘office block’. These buildings facades enhance this route into the city, they remind us of a city we lost but more importantly their proximity to other more modern pieces of architecture bridge the gap between the past and present. This is key, this is Coventry and we must celebrate this.

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  2. Is it not the case that planning applications can be rejected if they are likely to negatively affect the conservation area that they abutt

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  3. Totally agree it would be a shame to lose 2 of the buildings on Greyfriars Green ….
    But NOT Bank House it’s an awful ugly building that I would be glad to see demolished

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    1. I am together with many other people frustrated that you don’t take a lot of notice of people like myself, how this Council can even think of demolishing these Buildings instead of planning to integrate them is the reason why you have so much hate and criticism aimed at ypu, So please please read and listen

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  4. We have enough new build offices or apartments in the city. We must keep these beautiful houses
    To keep the life and history of Coventry for the next generations

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  5. I worked in that area for too many years to recall. Too many historical/architectural buildings are being demolished to make way for modern concrete blocks. One only has to look along Kenilworth Road, Leamington Spa, to see what is happening to beautiful buildings, st the rate things are going there will be no Coventry Heritage remaining.

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  6. Please keep these beautiful buildings they are part of the history of Coventry, we had a beautiful city and it is gradually being decimated into a soulless generic-looking city.

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  7. What is happening in Coventry? All our beautiful buildings are being bulldozed to be replaced by more concrete.

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  8. I love that part of our city. A collection of beautiful houses all in one place. It looks a really grand row as you approach the city.
    We have ruined our skyline enough with so many tall shapeless high rises. We need to keep this area beautiful. Keep those beautiful houses please!

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  9. These buildings are only “glimpsed” and “filtered” by the eye of a developer, to most Coventrians they are part of our heritage. The people of Coventry need to stand together and let the council and developers know that we are fed up with them destroying what small amounts of our past heritage and our Green Belt land that is left. If you take a look at Birmingham they preserve their Facades while creating modern interiors, even though some of them are factory buildings their architecture is still beautiful. So I don’t know why Coventry can’t follow their lead and save these beautiful buildings. I for one don’t want to live in a town that has been turned into a campus by its elected members.

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  10. I repeat & confirm my opinion is adequately explained in the words of Paul Watters –
    There are other other sites in the city centre that need attention, without vandalism to perfectly good serviceable historic properties….
    “These buildings must remain; it’s too easy, too lazy to simply pull them down and build another generic ‘office block’. These buildings facades enhance this route into the city, they remind us of a city we lost but more importantly their proximity to other more modern pieces of architecture bridge the gap between the past and present. This is key, this is Coventry and we must celebrate this.”

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  11. I disagree with O’Boyle’s quotation of “Best of the old, Best of the new” as you should, because generally it means out with the old owned by all of us and in with the new owned by 1%.

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