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Fears Expressed Over City Foyer Scheme

Flats for young people with social problems are to be built on a city centre car park next to the ancient city walls, despite objections from a nearby funeral service.

Bosses at the Co-operative Funeral Service in Lower Holyhead Road said they were worried that the scheme could attract troublemakers and add to problems of disorder in the city centre.

The flats are to be built on the NCP car park between Lower Holyhead Road and Hill Street.

Previously home to the City Garage, the unused land has been used as a car park since the 1980s, but has been earmarked for development.

Touchstone Housing Association is planning to build the specialist accommodation for disadvantaged young people to help them become independent.

Generally residents would stay at the Foyer Scheme for six months. They would get a cheap place to live and the building would also have teaching rooms to give them training to help them get a job.

The building will house 63 young people and have communal areas. It will run alongside the city wall, but a gate will be built so people can get access to them.

The Co-operative Funeral Society said it was worried that there would not be enough parking in the complex, and an already difficult situation could be made worse by residents parking on the street.

Bosses also said the design was not in keeping with historic nature of the area, and expressed fears that unless the scheme is well-managed it could be a magnet for trouble in the evenings,

Despite the objections, members of the city council Planning Committee agreed that the scheme should go ahead. They heard that despite the loss of 166 public car parking spaces there would still be more than 6,000 spaces for the city centre.

Councillors were told by officials:

”The issue of the management of the scheme is not a mater for the local planning authority to consider.

“This proposal is to be welcomed because it makes a positive contribution to meeting the social exclusion objectives of the city council.”

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CWN / Politics / Coventry City Council / 25 Jan 01
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