New Core Of Coventry


Known for its incredible Cathedrals, Abode2 takes a sneak peek at the plans to revitalise the heart of Coventry and explores the investment opportunity it offers

Further details have been revealed of plans for the transformation of Coventry city centre as development partners, The Hill Group and Shearer Property Group ('SPG'), have submitted a reserved matters application for the first of two phases of the highly-anticipated City Centre South regeneration project. Phase 1 includes 991 new homes, as well as 8,000 square meters of new commercial space, all set within 17,000 square meters of public open space. Phase 2 will provide further commercial space and up to 584 homes.

Urban regeneration specialist SPG has partnered with award-winning housebuilder Hill to deliver the visionary £450m mixed-use development, which received outline planning consent in January 2022. The landmark proposals are set to radically transform the centre of Coventry, creating a pedestrian-friendly residential, shopping and leisure hub that will put the city firmly on the map as a leading destination within the West Midlands. Subject to planning permission, work on site is expected to start in Summer 2024, with the first homes delivered by the end of 2026.

The new homes are designed to suit a wide range of residents, ranging in size from studios to three-bedroom homes. The majority of the 200 affordable homes will be social rent and are within the first two buildings due to be delivered. The remaining 791 private homes will be available through open market sale and rent. Designed by acclaimed architect firm Allies & Morrison, the residential buildings range in height from five to 19 storeys, with striking contemporary architecture that complements the city surroundings and takes cues from Coventry's rich history and the existing heritage buildings.  The design includes the use of seven different brick tones and ribboning brickwork effects that differentiate the buildings, paying tribute to the city's history of ribbon making, to create a diverse street scene.

Preserving the cultural heritage of the area, the public art strategy will include installing to-scale replicas of the History of Coventry mural and fibreglass panels by artist William Mitchell, a new Three Tuns pavilion building opposite Coventry Retail Market and relocation of existing artwork into key public locations across the development.

Andy Hill OBE, Group Chief Executive at The Hill Group comments: “Submitting the reserved matters application of City Centre South in Coventry represents a significant milestone to revolutionise and transform the city centre. We are keen to move ahead with our exciting plans for the first phase of delivery, utilising inspirational architecture, exceptional attention to detail and extensive landscaping to create a vibrant new district in the historic part of the city.”

Guy Shearer of Shearer Property Group said: “City Centre South will bring an entirely new, lively quarter to the city centre. Phase 1 will provide a wide range of quality boutiques and shops offering a diverse range of commercial space. Restaurants, bars, and the latest social and hospitality leisure occupiers will create an exciting new mix of offers that will complement and enhance the existing retail offer within the market and city centre.

Councillor Jim O'Boyle, cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change said: “This is a really positive step forward. City Centres are changing so this private sector investment will not only breathe new life into the area it will create a thriving, bustling new community that can help to support shops and restaurants and leisure attractions.

“We have seen how our work in the Upper Precinct and in the area around Bull Yard has attracted families back into the city centre – now imagine that on an even bigger scale. This is really exciting regeneration that will also create jobs and training opportunities during construction but afterwards too.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and Chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority, said: “City Centre South will help completely transform Coventry City Centre, and I'm delighted we could put significant cash on the table to make it happen. Not only will this project bring about major regeneration, but it will also provide significant numbers of homes and jobs for the people of Coventry. I'm particularly pleased therefore to see the number of affordable homes coming forward as part of Phase One, something we were insistent on as part of our funding agreement.

“Our near-£100million investment is one of the biggest we've ever made as a Combined Authority, showing just how much we believe in this scheme and the city of Coventry.”

Created with the vision to become a thriving new neighbourhood where residents can enjoy living healthy and active lifestyles, there is a strong emphasis on providing green space for everyone to enjoy. The buildings will be set around a series of squares, landscaped areas and communal gardens, complete with an integrated children's play space. Residential buildings will incorporate 6,600 sqm of biodiverse green roofs, extensive tree and hedge planting and ecological measures will significantly contribute to the development.

All homes will enjoy private external space in the form of a balcony or terrace, as well as access to a communal podium garden or roof terrace. Sustainably designed with excellent energy-efficient credentials, including photovoltaic solar panels, water saving and low-energy lighting features, the new homes will connect to a district heating system to help residents reduce energy bills. With safety in mind, all residential buildings incorporate two staircases and two lifts to comply with future building safety and fire regulations.

Coventry Retail Market, the Grade II listed 1950s covered market, forms a focal point with the new Pavilion buildings and Christchurch Spire and will benefit from a new covered servicing yard for traders, as well as a new pedestrian-friendly public realm. City Centre South will significantly enhance the retail offering of the city centre with extensive commercial and retail space available. The flexible commercial units range from 35 to 350 square meters to attract a real mix of businesses and retailers, from independent boutiques to long-established high street names.

Located within a five-minute walk of Coventry train station, the proposals will provide new car-free pedestrian-friendly and level access routes connecting Market Way, Herford Street and Rover Way to the new Cultural Gateway Centre and Coventry Very Light Rail project on Greyfriars Road and Queen Victoria Road. Other initiatives include cycle parking facilities and car club spaces. The majority of servicing and deliveries for residents, commercial and refuse collection will be discretely positioned away from these pedestrian areas.

City Centre South forms a major element of the wider masterplan for the regeneration of Coventry, which has already delivered a major upgrade to the railway station. The first phase of Grade A commercial space at Friargate and The Wave indoor water park are now both complete, all part of a £750 million investment across several projects in the heart of the city.

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