On Thursday (26th May) Coventry’s Planning Committee took the decision to permit the demolition of the locally listed former Black Horse pub at 73 Spon End.
The 200-year-old former pub will be knocked down to allow the widening of the junction of Allesley Old Road, Hearsall Lane and Spon End as part of the city’s NO2 reduction plan.
An extra lane of traffic is to be added to the B4106 in Spon End, widening a ‘pinch point’ and improving an alternative route into the city centre, avoiding highly polluted parts of Holyhead Road.
The decision to demolish the building was made following a close vote of 4 – 3 despite vocal opposition from local residents and heritage groups.
Objectors to the demolition included the Victorian Society, the Georgian Group, Historic Buildings and Places (formerly known as the Ancient Monuments Society) and the Council’s own Conservation Team.
The building’s heritage value was a key point for councillors opposing the plans. Cllr Roger Bailey said: “It’s a unique historic building in a medieval settlement.” He argued for it to be preserved and moved to a different location, which the council has done before. “We keep losing historic buildings,” he said.
Council officers argued that the destruction of the historic building was justified by the greater good of being able to implement the Council’s pollution reduction plan.
Conditions attached to the planning application will ensure that there will be a proper archaeological investigation of the site before roadworks commence. There is a good chance of finding evidence of the medieval manor of Sponna.
The Coventry Society is disappointed to lose the Black Horse but supports the Council’s plans to reduce NO2 without the introduction of a Charging Zone.