Plans to redevelop Upper Precinct and transform Coventry Station given go ahead - The Coventry Observer

17th Aug, 2022

Plans to redevelop Upper Precinct and transform Coventry Station given go ahead

AMBITIOUS £93.8million plans to redevelop the Upper Precinct and Coventry Station have been given the go ahead.

Coventry City Council’s planning committee granted permission yesterday for an £11.8million city centre scheme and the £82million Coventry Station Masterplan.

The Upper Precinct go-ahead follows heritage watchdog Historic England listing some of its buildings and canopies amid concerns about the redevelopment.

But the go-ahead has been granted for removing the listed canopy at the former BHS store.

A central pedestrian area in a courtyard style design complete with planting, landscaping, water features, seating areas and timber terraces will be created in the Upper Precinct, the council says.

The plans were submitted by Shearer Property Group and a fund advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

The existing escalator and footbridges connected to West Orchards Shopping Centre are set to be demolished.

The council wants to re-establish the view to Coventry Cathedral and the canopy outside the former BHS building and the ramp near Ernest Jones will also be removed.

A 75-room student accommodation block will also be created in the Upper Precinct.

The council has announced preparation work will start on Monday (November 19) to get the area ready for the major work after Christmas.

From December 17, there will be no vehicle or pedestrian access through Barracks Way which is the walkway from the car-park alongside Clintons Cards, the council says.

Shops will be open as usual and alternative arrangements will be made for people to access the shops from Barracks Way.

Trees that have outgrown the space and, in some cases, started to lift the paving around them will be removed – with new, more appropriate trees set to be planted as part of the new scheme.

In another high-profile planning application, Coventry council has also approved plans for a two-phase development of Coventry Station which opened in 1962.

The council says it will create a new gateway to the city ahead of UK City of Culture 2021 to accommodate increasing numbers of visitors.

The first phase to construct a new footbridge and canopies and an access tunnel under Warwick Road is already started.

The second phase involves building a multi-storey car park for 633 vehicles, a new station concourse with access to all platforms and Warwick Road, and a new pedestrian route via a tunnel under Warwick Road to a new bus interchange.

Cabinet member for jobs and regeneration Jim O’Boyle said: “Our work in the Upper Precinct will help to reinstate it back to something much closer to Donald Gibson’s original plan.

“We will ensure we retain the very best of the old whilst creating an environment appropriate for the way people want to enjoy their city centre today.

“The railway station is the fastest growing outside London with passenger numbers increasing year-on-year so we need a station that can cope with increased demand and provide the right kind of Coventry welcome.”

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