Press Release

3 October 2018

Civic Voice supports Coventry Society campaign to save the Coventry Cross situated in Hill Top Conservation Area

Call comes ahead of council decision on 4th October

Civic Voice - the national charity for the civic and conservation movement - is today drawing national attention to the impact of not having a Conservation Officer by the potential demolition of the Coventry Cross, in a once classified Outstanding Conservation Area.

Coventry City Council have put an application in to demolish the Coventry Cross, located in the Hilltop Conservation Area. A petition has been set up Coventry Society to oppose the decision, which is expected on 4th October 2018.

Ian Harvey, Executive Director, Civic Voice, said: “In Civic Voice’s view there is nothing in the planning application that states how the proposal will help to preserve or enhance the conservation area, contrary to legislation. Combined with the council no longer having a Conservation Officer to provide expert heritage advice, you must query whether Coventry’s historic environment is being given the necessary care and attention in the decision-making process, ahead of City of Culture 2021.”

Hill Top Conservation Area has national importance and was recognised by the Department of the Environment in December 1976 when it was granted the status of Outstanding Conservation Area. Hill Top Conservation Area will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019.

Harvey finished by saying: “In determining planning applications, the local authority must consider how the change within a Conservation Area ‘preserves or enhances’ the character or appearance of the area. We now know that over 20% of local authorities no longer have a conservation officer so we do query how these authorities, such as Coventry, are giving the necessary attention to their conservation areas. Is it any wonder that over 70% of Civic Voice members do not feel that their Conservation Areas are being afforded the necessary protection."

Paul Maddocks, Chair of the Coventry Society said: “The council’s own Conservation Area Appraisal from 2014 states that the Coventry Cross replica enhances the historic character of the area. We should be celebrating this conservation area as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019, but currently, with no Conservation Officer, how is that possible? In the Coventry Society’s view there is nothing in the planning application that states how the proposal will help to preserve or enhance the conservation area, contrary to legislation. If Coventry City Council had a Conservation Officer in post, we are sure that the due attention to the historic environment would be considered.”

The Coventry Cross:

At the corner of Trinity Lane and Cuckoo Lane stands the Coventry Cross, a replica of an ornate medieval market cross. The original dated to 1541 and stood in Cross Cheaping. It was Hill Top Conservation Area Appraisal 20 demolished in 1771 when attempts were being made to remove obstructions in the City’s streets. The concrete and stone replica was erected on this spot in 1976.

Hill Top Conservation Area:

Hill Top Conservation Area has national importance and was recognised by the Department of the Environment in December 1976 when it was granted the status of Outstanding Conservation Area. The Hilltop Conservation Area Around Holy Trinity Church, the Cathedral and the Council House in the city centre was declared a Conservation Area on 8th August 1969.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Ian Harvey, Civic Voice
07877 096968
info@civicvoice.org.uk


 

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