New planning application submitted

A ‘reserved matters’ planning application for the eagerly awaited Friargate development in Coventry has been submitted by developers, Friargate Coventry LLP.

Comprising the new Coventry City Council building, public open space and a landscaped ’boulevard’ leading from the railway station to Greyfriars Green, the application will, if approved, see the project spring to life early next year.

The construction of a sustainable new office building for Coventry City Council – the first of 25 new buildings in the development – will accommodate the majority of the Council’s office-based staff in a single location. High quality public spaces and landscaping will also enhance the area.

The entire development is to be phased over 15 years with the initial work seeing the removal of the junction 6 gyratory together with an extensive, landscaped bridge deck over the ring road.

Temporary pedestrian and vehicle links from Eaton Road will also be provided, preparing the way for a practical and attractive, tree-lined pedestrian route from the station to Greyfriars Green and on to the city centre. The subject of a separate application earlier this year, this phase of work will be carried out in early 2014.

Stephen Reynolds of Friargate Coventry LLP said: “Friargate is the first development on anywhere near this scale and type in Coventry for decades and represents a massive opportunity for the city to attract new employers and visitors to the city.

“The combination of office, leisure, retail, hotels and residential uses creates an attractive, high-quality mix that will act as a catalyst to further regeneration in the city.”

The new Coventry City Council building is located a very short distance from Coventry railway station and will benefit from views over a new Station Square and Greyfriars Green as well as taking full advantage of the new tree-lined pedestrian boulevard to the city centre.

The building will also profit from excellent public transport links, with bus services just a couple of minutes’ walk away and the station, which will have new taxi drop off facilities, even closer.

Councillor Lynnette Kelly cabinet member for business, enterprise and employment said: “The submission of this application is both a step forward for the Friargate development and for our move to this fantastic new business district for the city. Friargate will change the face of our city, kick-start investment, create jobs and save money for council tax payers.

“Of course, what’s most important is that our move encourages other organisations to relocate to Friargate.  Although our new office is exciting, what really matters is that we generate more investment in Coventry. We have said we will make brave decisions if they are good for the city – creating jobs and prosperity for local people – and that’s what this is about.  This is a value for money plan for Coventry taxpayers that will send the clearest of messages to investors and developers that the city is open for business and we are prepared to do whatever it takes to stimulate the local economy.”

As with other buildings on the site, it is proposed to include a variety of retail/leisure facilities at ground level to generate activity at all times of the day and give the new development added vitality. In addition, the central part of the new Station Square will be laid out with interim landscaping and there will also be temporary landscaping to the frontage of future building plots.

Later phases of Friargate are still to undergo detailed design but will be brought forward in a number of packages, with associated new streets and Public Transport Interchange arrangements maintaining access throughout construction.