Article on town centre development

Sky_Blue_Dreamer

Well-Known Member
Aug 16, 2018
9,487
6,000
213
When i think of brutalism i think of Trellick Tower or maybe the National Theatre.

View attachment 18463
I agree. I think the blocks of flats/tower blocks are the most brutalist structures we built. Most of it in the city centre I'd just call modernist.

There are some that could be brutalist like the car park opposite White St, but has been given a brick facade to hide the concrete structure. But then I suppose you could argue the same about he cathedral.
 

Sky_Blue_Dreamer

Well-Known Member
Aug 16, 2018
9,487
6,000
213
I think the thing with a lot of the concrete stuff is that without maintenance and the concrete crumbling, it exposes the metal structure and it ends up costing a fortune in dealing with structural problems.

Ring road falls into this category. Maintenance is now like the Forth bridge in they just keep going round repairing it neverendingly. Costing that much it'd be cheaper long term to demolish and rebuild, but if you're going to demolish you may as well consider more elegant solutions in this day and age.
 

RedSalmon

Well-Known Member
Mar 25, 2011
432
148
93
For me the Ring Road is fantastic in every way. Have never though of it as ugly or a concrete collar chocking the City, just a very effective and efficient way of getting round the City. Visually it does not offend me in any way and would be upset to see the council dismantle it or mess it around. It's probably one of the very few things the council got right.
 

Sky_Blue_Dreamer

Well-Known Member
Aug 16, 2018
9,487
6,000
213
For me the Ring Road is fantastic in every way. Have never though of it as ugly or a concrete collar chocking the City, just a very effective and efficient way of getting round the City. Visually it does not offend me in any way and would be upset to see the council dismantle it or mess it around. It's probably one of the very few things the council got right.
It disconnects the city centre from the suburbs both physically and visually, encouraging people to go around the city centre rather than into it;
totally dissuades anyone from walking into the city centre having to navigate the underpasses;
prevents any kind of organic growth of the city centre;
creates large pockets of awkwardly shaped packets of land around it that have always struggled to find a use and are far cheaper than city centre land otherwise should be;
takes up huge amounts of space (it's eight lanes across between J6 and 7);
largely forces everyone towards the centre if they want to travel across the city, especially in the NW where there's no outer ringroad like the A46 and causing long queues on roads like Allesley Old Road and Holyhead Rd because they're not designed to take that level of traffic the RR is designed for with bottlenecks around the single lane sections or bits that people park on outside their houses;
it looks ugly and prevents presenting any kind of vista of the city centre for those entering;
visitors find it daunting having the on/off slipways using the same space and presents them with a terrible first impression;
is becoming increasingly costly to maintain

That's not to say it doesn't have good points - it is pretty effective as a distributor and preventing congestion in the city centre (though as I've said it creates that congestion on the roads that connect to the junctions.

Again, it's something I'm fine with keeping as a route, but it needs rethinking as to how it's engineered for the future.

Biggest missed opportunity in recent years was the Swanswell Initiative that would've made J1-3 at level and integrated into the city much better. Had that occurred I'm certain we'd have seen projects to remove overpasses in favour of at-level or even moving the road into cuttings rather than overpasses in certain areas.
 

RedSalmon

Well-Known Member
Mar 25, 2011
432
148
93
It disconnects the city centre from the suburbs both physically and visually, encouraging people to go around the city centre rather than into it;
totally dissuades anyone from walking into the city centre having to navigate the underpasses;
prevents any kind of organic growth of the city centre;
creates large pockets of awkwardly shaped packets of land around it that have always struggled to find a use and are far cheaper than city centre land otherwise should be;
takes up huge amounts of space (it's eight lanes across between J6 and 7);
largely forces everyone towards the centre if they want to travel across the city, especially in the NW where there's no outer ringroad like the A46 and causing long queues on roads like Allesley Old Road and Holyhead Rd because they're not designed to take that level of traffic the RR is designed for with bottlenecks around the single lane sections or bits that people park on outside their houses;
it looks ugly and prevents presenting any kind of vista of the city centre for those entering;
visitors find it daunting having the on/off slipways using the same space and presents them with a terrible first impression;
is becoming increasingly costly to maintain

That's not to say it doesn't have good points - it is pretty effective as a distributor and preventing congestion in the city centre (though as I've said it creates that congestion on the roads that connect to the junctions.

Again, it's something I'm fine with keeping as a route, but it needs rethinking as to how it's engineered for the future.

Biggest missed opportunity in recent years was the Swanswell Initiative that would've made J1-3 at level and integrated into the city much better. Had that occurred I'm certain we'd have seen projects to remove overpasses in favour of at-level or even moving the road into cuttings rather than overpasses in certain areas.
I don't think it disconnects the city centre from the suburbs to any greta extent, in fact I would say it actually directs any traffic on the ring road to the district/suburb they are trying to get to. With regards to walking into and around the City Centre' agree that the underpasses are not ideal and a better solution should be found, but I don't think they 'totally dissuade anyone form walking into the town centre'.
Sadly roads do take up room, and with the level of traffic in Coventry there is no way round that I can see unless move towards a traffic free (or much reduced) City. Maybe that's a plan to be considered going forward, and if traffic levels were to significantly reduce, might become realistic.
Not sure I agree with you on it forces everyone towards the centre, if going across town I can usually think of different routes that don't involve the Ring Road, equally it can be a quick option to do it if required. As to the queues up the Allesley Old Road, that is surely due to the sheer volume of traffic on the road trying to go the same way, if the Ring Road were not there those queues would quite probably be bigger and longer. Same argument for the M6 around Birmingham, sheer volume of traffic.
Have worked with many people who have moved to Coventry from around the country, and would agree that initially they find the Ring Road a bit of a challenge, but nothing more than that, and I would say if you cannot safely navigate your way round the Ring Road or feel intimidated by it you shouldn't really be driving.
For me the main problem is that if you start lowering certain sections in the hope it will improve things (which I don't believe to be anywhere near bad at all) it is the beginning of the end for the ring road.
It is a subject that divides opinion amongst people but as I have said before I have no issue with it at all.
 

shmmeee

Well-Known Member
Jul 11, 2011
30,901
22,220
313
Coventry, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
It all looks like a war torn former communist block country to me those images.

Only thing worse is the plastic Lego block towers were building everywhere now.

I wish next time we were fucking with the planning system we actually put some modicum of emphasis on design in there. Same for new build houses. This country is its buildings and its getting uglier and uglier.
 

shmmeee

Well-Known Member
Jul 11, 2011
30,901
22,220
313
Coventry, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
And I love the ring road functionally. I don’t think the city centre is desperate to burst out these days, more contract if anything.

I do wish they’d actually attempt to make it look good though. Add some greenery and art. Better bridges and crossings. But I’d much rather drive around Cov with the ring road than most cities. And I don’t know anyone who is put off walking into town.
 

fernandopartridge

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2011
24,009
18,965
313
And I love the ring road functionally. I don’t think the city centre is desperate to burst out these days, more contract if anything.

I do wish they’d actually attempt to make it look good though. Add some greenery and art. Better bridges and crossings. But I’d much rather drive around Cov with the ring road than most cities. And I don’t know anyone who is put off walking into town.
The Ring Road is a bypass, it is dysfunctional
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sky_Blue_Dreamer

Sky_Blue_Dreamer

Well-Known Member
Aug 16, 2018
9,487
6,000
213
With the death of the city centre seemingly in full flow UK wide and the flagship shop of Cov shut down.

Thoughts on this?

Paid under expected price. Expect them to try a few half arsed attempts then try and sell it on in a few years and to regularly switch owners until a whole new use if found for it eventually.

Like Cathedral Lanes but bigger and in a less prominent position.
 

Sky_Blue_Dreamer

Well-Known Member
Aug 16, 2018
9,487
6,000
213
Some serious delusion from the council there, £4.75m shows no confidence at all. It is a fire sale
I think deep down they know that, but they can hardly say that can they. Have to spin it positively or they could put off people looking to invest in CCS or Friargate.
 

NorthernWisdom

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2013
24,919
15,255
413
You do realise why a freeholder doesn’t go to the press about one of their leaseholds and say “yeah it’s a shit site I’m amazed someone took it over” don’t you?
I switched off at the eleventh advert but... have the council sold that leasehold anyway, or rather hasn't a company bought out another company, so limited council involvement, anyway?
 
  • Like
Reactions: shmmeee

chiefdave

Well-Known Member
Sep 27, 2008
27,776
16,152
413
Coventry
I switched off at the eleventh advert but... have the council sold that leasehold anyway, or rather hasn't a company bought out another company, so limited council involvement, anyway?
From the article it seems the new owners haven't even spoken to the council. Suspect its just an investment, they've purchased below value and will hope to sell on for a profit in a post-covid world, hence them not even being named.

Where the CT say it was valued at £37m eight years ago do they mean the value of the site or the lease? If its the lease and its now sold for £4.85 million that's not good!

The biggest thing immediately is what they're going to do with all the space vacated by Debenhams. That's a huge space, need to get some of these empty units into use, the BHS site is still empty isn't it?
 

shmmeee

Well-Known Member
Jul 11, 2011
30,901
22,220
313
Coventry, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
They don't need to comment at all
No they don’t need to. No one ever needs to say anything. But as the freeholders and with a lot of other freeholds in similar states it’s in their interests to big up people being interested in. It’s standard PR and what any business does. It’s just your weird need to kick the Council kicking in is all.
 

fernandopartridge

Well-Known Member
Dec 9, 2011
24,009
18,965
313
No they don’t need to. No one ever needs to say anything. But as the freeholders and with a lot of other freeholds in similar states it’s in their interests to big up people being interested in. It’s standard PR and what any business does. It’s just your weird need to kick the Council kicking in is all.
I've defended them more than most when it comes to the city centre regeneration actually. Nobody cares that they're the freeholder, it has no real relevance in this transaction. According to the article 100 parties looked at it and it still didn't make the guide price. I'd just keep quiet.