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MisterD-Di
Sutton Coldfield
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46 of 57  Wed 7th Mar 2018 3:35pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:883

On 7th Mar 2018 2:53pm, AD said: As far as I know at this stage the plan is removal of the escalator and ramp, with one of the units being converted into an entrance for West Orchards to replace them. These seem extremely sensible proposals. I guess he's talking of uninterrupted views of the spires at this stage, which would be visible above CL. I am aware from past conversations that ideally they would like uninterrupted views through the precinct and across Broadgate of the churches, but accept that the financial viability of compulsory purchase of Cathedral Lanes can't be argued at this stage. Bizarre if he should be bringing it up now as Cathedral Lanes is probably the most occupied and used it's been since opening and is undergoing redevelopment. If they were going to consider purchase they should've done it when the place was practically empty except Wilko's and who could've easily been accommodated elsewhere, including the precinct. There is also the issue of the residents, which is of far greater concern to them and needs far more careful handling, but again give the tenants a good enough offer and an alternative and I think you'd find them willing to move. Personally, as I've said before, I'd love to see the building go and open up the view (even with the County Court in front). See my gallery for my Broadgate/Precinct idea.
I would hope that the 'City of Culture' initiative should be maximising the potential of the Cathedral Lanes building because in truth it can be a real asset to the city centre. We all know it's not going anywhere, and all this 'lines of sight' nonsense is simply a small group of people being against change. The issue is that it has never been properly used before. As you say, it has become more occupied by attracting restaurant outlets, something Coventry has been short of for years. However, the Wilko store is totally out of place in that location. I would love to see them relocate and the space used for a music and entertainment venue, something else the city lacks. As City of Culture, it would be ideal to integrate such a place in the restaurant quarter. As an aside, I did have to smile at your comment about giving the tenants of Cathedral Lanes a good enough offer to relocate, as that is what happened to us when we lived there. We were bought out by an eye-watering offer by the royal family of Brunei, but that's another story. Big grin
News, Media and Current Affairs - UK City of Culture 2021
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Allesley Park
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47 of 57  Wed 7th Mar 2018 3:51pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:401

I am aware of you living in the building in the past and we've discussed this issue at length before. However, to suggest that CL building would maximise the city of culture initiative more than the old cathedral I don't think is right. The faux castle look is not attractive and actually quite naff (nice idea, very poorly executed). I think the most accurate description I've heard is 'it looks like a bus station'. I don't think it's an ugly building, I just don't think it's one we should be looking to use as a cultural or aesthetic asset I think Broadgate is a great location for restaurants and food etc. but would it be a better experience looking out from CL across the square at the 1960's block or from the precinct side across the square towards the two churches? We had some friends from America across about a year ago who wanted a 'cheeky Nando's' and they really liked the view at the rear across towards the older structures. I also find your assessment of the 'lines of sight' thing as being by people against change very confusing. How can people who WANT to change the situation by removing a building and creating something that has never existed up to now be people against change? By definition surely those wanting to keep it as it is are against change?
News, Media and Current Affairs - UK City of Culture 2021
MisterD-Di
Sutton Coldfield
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48 of 57  Wed 7th Mar 2018 7:34pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2011  Total posts:883

The whole reason for wanting the place to be used properly is simply down to its location. Broadgate is the heart of the city, so a restaurant/entertainment venue there would be ideal. I actually think the building looks fine - certainly more pleasing than some of the nondescript 'boxes' in the area. But the main issue is location, and I have believed, and stated before that it would be ideal for a music venue. Now that it is being geared towards leisure, that is more so. The City of Culture is the best chance the city has of getting that venue, wherever it may be, but it is also a chance to make the centre worth visiting in the evening. My point about 'line of sight' is that it never existed, and the resistance to change refers to the fact that it was a new building, despite the fact that one of the things it replaced was the council staff canteen. I have always thought that the negative views of Cathedral Lanes would not have existed had the awful canopy never been built next to it. I would love to see lots of regeneration as part of the CofC initiative, but it will not be a bottomless money pit. I can also think of many worse eyesores around the centre than Cathedral Lanes that could be flattened at no loss. I see that Broadgate House is to be refurbished to house council staff. I worked there many years ago and cannot see why council staff need to be centrally located, with all the associated problems that brings. I recall it being an outdated and unsuitable building back in the 70s. Perhaps it could be better used too.
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Allesley Park
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49 of 57  Wed 7th Mar 2018 8:07pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:401

I agree with most of what you've written. Entertainment and leisure has to be the main focus and if we could get those running WAC (which I think is an excellent venue) to get involved in a similar city centre venture along with Cov Uni that'd be great. WAC gets a lot of patrons from the Warwickshire area as well, and I feel there is scope for a city this size to have two venues. Removal of the canopy was a step forward but as on here what people always show are the pictures of the green Broadgate and the churches in the background. As has been said the uninterrupted view has never existed, but those pictures show what would be possible. Afraid I still can't make out your resistance to change argument. I just can't quite get my head around how people trying to do something that has not been done before (open up the view of the churches) are resistant to change? Yes, it being a newer building does make it an 'easier' target than say the County Court which would also block the view (albeit to a lesser extent) but from a personal point of view I'd be open to losing that as well to open up the view. The CoC isn't going to be able to do that much in terms of regeneration as both the finances you mention and the time scale involved don't allow it. Most of it is hoped in changing perceptions of the city so people will visit more often and then it can change incrementally over the years, like Manchester. CL being demolished certainly won't be part of CoC but circumstances change and at some point it will inevitably be under-utilised again and look run down. With the new refurbishment I don't expect it to be a viable demolition target until at least 2030 now, but for me I'm aiming at getting it demolished and the area opened up for the Coventry Millennium in 2043. There are bigger problems to deal with first though. I thought most of Broadgate House was being removed to open up the Hertford St route?
News, Media and Current Affairs - UK City of Culture 2021
Malvern
Somerset
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50 of 57  Fri 9th Mar 2018 7:37pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:43

You say Cathedral Lanes ain't going nowhere, but what about Parkside House (tax offices etc.) 1980s to 2000s, Spire House 1970s to 2010s? If the building hasn't got architectural merit lets get rid of it! Yes it's in the right location but it's the wrong building!! When I first started out as an accountant I couldn't work out why buildings that could last hundreds of years were being written off over 50 years, however these days many buildings don't even make 30 years!! Edited by member, 9th Mar 2018 7:42 pm
Malvern

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Allesley Park
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51 of 57  Fri 9th Mar 2018 8:25pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2011  Total posts:401

As someone else who worked in accounting for a decade or so it's well known you can make any figure say what you want it to say because so many of them are arbitrary values or estimates of the future. As the saying goes "if someone asks you how much profit they've made the correct answer is "how much do you want to make?"" Usually structures don't last that long because upkeep is neglected for long lengths of time and usually done as problems occur rather than preventatively. But once the problems start they tend to just continue and the argument becomes the extra cost of building new is offset due to the rising repair costs of existing structures and you'll have totally up to date space. Things change so quick now though anything pretty much needs a refit after a decade due to technology etc so we're seeing more of a short term building ethos like America, aiming to replace in a shorter space of time. There has been arguments about housing becoming more like that, with 'flat pack' homes or bespoke builds for wealthier people aimed to last 25-50 years with recyclable/renewable resources and the value is in the land rather than the actual property. How many people do you know who've bought a house and then realised work needs doing to the heating/plumbing/electrics costing a fortune people don't have. Not sure if I completely agree with the idea but I think it might be worth trialling on a new estate being built.
News, Media and Current Affairs - UK City of Culture 2021
flapdoodle
Coventry
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52 of 57  Sun 11th Mar 2018 8:38am  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:847

Broadgate is such a dreary ‘square’. At least CL gives it a sense of enclosure and the restaurants have given it customers and life, something it lacked when it was a mall with gloomy shopfronts. Now the focus is on the exterior.
News, Media and Current Affairs - UK City of Culture 2021
Midland Red
Cherwell
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Thread starter
53 of 57  Sun 11th Mar 2018 8:50am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4895

CL gives a sense of encroachment rather than enclosure, to the extent that Broadgate is no longer a square - it's been partly displaced by the monstrosity which is CL
News, Media and Current Affairs - UK City of Culture 2021
flapdoodle
Coventry
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54 of 57  Sun 11th Mar 2018 10:03am  
Member: Joined Nov 2010  Total posts:847

Not a square? That’s a ridiculous statement. It’s hardly a monstrosity, just a two storey red brick building. Edited by member, 11th Mar 2018 10:06 am
News, Media and Current Affairs - UK City of Culture 2021
Midland Red
Cherwell
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55 of 57  Sun 11th Mar 2018 11:07am  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4895

Big grin Perhaps I should have used the word 'carbuncle' as per another forum member recently! This gives a good idea of the amount of the encroachment into the original post-war square Sad
News, Media and Current Affairs - UK City of Culture 2021
Billybobs
South Warwickshire
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56 of 57  Sun 11th Mar 2018 11:45am  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:27

The discussion around CL and Broadgate is interesting and I agree with many of the comments relating to the negativity surrounding them, but we are where we are. Unfortunately each and every 'development plan' will evolve over the years and often original concepts lost on the way. There are two basic reasons why this occurs - each planner/architect/designer will always want to put their own mark on the future concept but above all, as the council cannot fund the projects they are reliant on developers whose one and only interest is to maximise their investment. Whilst the discussion on how the area should be developed is interesting, we have to be realistic as there is neither time, finance or inclination by those involved to consider demolishing CL or other major significant changes that may seek to replicate the original concept - and if they tried it would still be a mish-mash of ideas. More would be gained in this thread, if we put forward practical ideas that are achievable taking into account there is not a finite amount of finance available and that the Council will be relying on a significant input from developers who have differing objectives to ourselves. Edited by member, 11th Mar 2018 1:30 pm
News, Media and Current Affairs - UK City of Culture 2021
Midland Red
Cherwell
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Thread starter
57 of 57  Sun 11th Mar 2018 2:00pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4895

You make very good observations - however the discussion was centred around this: Councillor Jim O Boyle said: “As an ambition we want to see the Upper Precinct returned to its majestic original design . . . and have clear sight lines right through to the Cathedral" Do you have any inkling as to what exactly would be involved in attaining their ambition?
News, Media and Current Affairs - UK City of Culture 2021

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