Coventry to get two new Conservation Areas

Historic view of Earlsdon

In a move which took the Coventry Society by surprise, Cllr Welsh, the Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities last week approved public consultation on two new Conservation Areas for the city.

The two proposed Conservation Areas are Brownshill Green and Earlsdon and consultation on both will start before the end of March and run into April.

Both Conservation Areas were included in the 2017 Coventry Local Plan, but a considerable amount of work has been done since then to prepare them for consultation,

The requirement for designation of a Conservation Area is the preparation of Conservation Area Appraisal and the publication of a Conservation Area Management Plan. In both cases, the Council has gone one step further and submitted a draft Article 4 Direction. This power, which is rarely used in Coventry, removes Permitted Development Rights within the proposed Conservation Area. This means that things that would not normally require permission will in future require it.

The Brownshill Green Conservation Area is a large area to the north of Wall Hill Road and to the west of Long Lane. It abuts the part of the Coundon Wedge that the Council is planning to sell off for new housing development against the wishes of local people.

Proposed Conservation Area boundary (red)

The special interest of Brownshill Green that justifies its designation as a conservation area includes:

  • Its long history, still evident in the layout of the village, in its buildings
  • The distinctive long, narrow enclosures present today to the north of the settlement
  • Survival of historic identity of village, plots and layout
  • The significant contribution of the natural environment in trees, gardens, open spaces, hedges

Earlsdon – the second proposed Conservation Area will be more familiar to CovSoc members and local residents as we were involved in the community workshops that were held in 2016 as part of the preparation of the Conservation Area appraisal under the previous Conservation team.

Proposed boundary of the Earlsdon Conservation Area

The special interest that justifies designation of Earlsdon as a Conservation Area derives from the following features:

  • Earlsdon was originally laid out as a ‘garden village’ in 1852 by the Coventry Freehold Land Society with 251 plots arranged around eight streets.
  • Many of the area’s buildings date from the late Victorian / Edwardian period, and remain good examples of housing development by the early building society movement (the Freehold Land Societies) in this period.
  • The original buildings and layout is still largely intact. The Victorian / Edwardian architecture and red-brick housing predominate in the area.
  • There are Victorian and Edwardian streets of high quality suburban housing, with leafy streets and a garden-city influence.
  • The changing styles of architecture and the street scene reflects the changes in the organisation of the building industry and the market for which housing was developed.
  • The area is linked to the Victorian and Edwardian industries which make Coventry famous – ribbon manufacturing, watch making, bike and car manufacture. There is still evidence of industrial premises mixed in with domestic dwellings.
  • Overall, Earlsdon is the best surviving example of late Victorian / Edwardian period suburb in Coventry.

The appraisal includes a full analysis of the community workshops held in 2016 and demonstrates that the results of this participation have been taken into account in the preparation of the Appraisal.

The Coventry Society will take a look at all of these documents once consutation begins and we will let you know when this is to be, once the dates of the public consultation are fixed.

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