Rochester Road HiMO plan

On 8 January we reported on an application is to change a residential elderly care home in Rochester Road into a house of multiple occupation for 21 students. There is concern about the immediate impact on the community and in the long term effect on the character of the area.

The deadline for comments and objections to the planning application is now 21 days from 10 January – the day the yellow notice went up.

Response may be via your local councillors, or by commenting on planning application number FUL/2016/2994 for 71-73 Rochester Road:

Competition for City of Culture 2021 Launched

The bid is now formally underway after Matt Hancock, Minister of State responsible for digital and culture policy at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, officially launched the competition in Hull.

The Coventry City of Culture Trust has been working on a bid for more than a year and now knows key dates and the full bid process. David Burbidge, the chair of the Trust, said the support from the city and the region had been incredible so far but now was time to step up a gear.

He said: “We have been doing a huge amount of work in the run up to this announcement. A massive amount of research into the city has been undertaken from a cultural, economic and social point of view so we know exactly what we want City of Culture to achieve for Coventry. Coventry’s population is on average seven years younger than the rest of the country and young people will play a major role in 2021. We are a diverse city too and, already through this process, we have drawn out some wonderful stories of Coventry’s cultures giving them the local, national and international profile they deserve. But the truth is Coventry doesn’t only want to be City of Culture in 2021 – it very much needs this opportunity to help to tackle some of the inequalities that remain and to turn round the city’s visitor economy. It’s clear to me that the whole city is behind the bid – our politicians, our businesses – who are supporting the bid financially, our two great universities, our cultural organisations and, most importantly, the people. When we first announced that we would bid 80% of the population said they were behind it but now we need to galvanise the people of Coventry behind this and to build pride in the place, culture and identity of this diverse modern city”.

Chapelfields resident Julia Negus, of Theatre Absolute which runs the Shopfront Theatre in the city centre, said: “The past 12 to 18 months has been a really positive process for Coventry since it announced it would be bidding to be UK City of Culture. It’s helped the city to acknowledge the many challenges we have and also to start to recognise some of the existing cultural organisations and the great talent we have emerging in Coventry. A successful bid would be transformational for Coventry, particularly for our young people from so many backgrounds and cultures. It would give the city a renewed confidence and, I believe, would have a lasting effect on Coventry and our culture.”

Coventry City Council, The University of Warwick, and Coventry University are Principal Partners of the bid, the Ricoh Arena is Bid Sponsor while Jaguar Land Rover, Friargate, Coventry Building Society, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Birmingham Airport, Pertemps and CEF (City Electrical Factors) are all Bid Development Sponsors.

Your Priorities to Tackle Crime and Safety in the City

People in the city are being invited to take part in a major survey to find out about crime concerns in Coventry. The city’s Police and Crime Board, Coventry Police and Coventry City Council are seeking views on community priorities, engagement and perceptions of safety and security in the city.

The survey is aiming to capture the views of the community. The Police and Crime Board is hoping to gain a wide variety of suggestions and ideas that people have for the city. The information provided will be used to shape the delivery plan for the Police and Crime Board, which will help the police and council prioritise how it addresses community concerns.

The deadline for responses is 31 January, 2017.

If you have any queries about this survey please contact the Police Partnerships Team at

Take part at

Fostering in Coventry

The Council’s Fostering Team is running a New Year campaign to highlight the urgent need for more people to open their hearts and homes to Coventry children in 2017. Fostering means that you care for a child or children in your home, providing a safe, nurturing and positive environment. No specific qualifications or experiences are required but you do need to have a spare room and the time and motivation to care for children. It takes around four months to be approved as a foster carer and details of the support, training and payments made to carers are all available at
Around 350 Coventry children are currently living in fostering households and the Council needs around 100 more placements for children.

If you are interested in finding out more, there are a number of informal ‘drop-ins’ and ‘meet the team’ information events happening across the city or you can call the recruitment hotline on 024 7683 2828.

Drop-ins will be held at Central Library in Smithford Way between 10am and 2pm on:
– Friday 3 February
– Friday 3 March

Meet the Fostering Team information sessions will be held at:
Thursday 26 January, 6pm-7.30pm, Christ The King Parish Centre, 14 Westhill Road, Coundon CV6 2AA
Wednesday 15 February, 6pm-7.30pm, Cheylesmore Community Centre, Poitiers Road, Cheylesmore, CV3 5L

Road Resurfacing – Poplar Road

Resurfacing in Poplar Road between number 19 and number 97 will shortly begin. This is phase 3 of the works.

This work is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 24 January and will take approximately one working day to complete. To enable the work to be carried out safely and quickly the council need to close Poplar Road full length from Earlsdon Street to number 97 between 7.30 am and 4.30pm. Sometimes they have to delay the road resurfacing work for reasons they cannot control i.e. bad weather but, if this does happen, they will let you know by clearly displaying notices on information boards at each end of the road.

Access to the closed road will be restricted to residents, businesses and essential users only (e.g. emergency vehicles, refuse collection). Pedestrian access will not be affected. The working hours are 7.30am to 4.30pm. Any vehicles left on Poplar Road during the working hours will be removed. If you have any problems with access, there will be traffic management operatives to assist you.

Residents living in Poplar Road will shortly receive a letter from the council advising of the above and providing relevant contact details.

Bus Lane Suspension

The council’s plan to suspend a number of bus lanes in the city as part of a trial will be phased in from Monday 16 January, with yellow and black signs being placed to inform motorists which bus lanes are suspended. Bus lanes that do not have a black and yellow sign near them have not been suspended and are still being used as bus lanes.

The bus lanes that will be suspended in our area are:

– Tile Hill gyratory – on Tile Hill Lane inbound between Beech Tree Ave and the rugby club entrance. After the rugby club entrance there is a bus gate and no access for cars.

– Tile Hill gyratory – outbound between Renown Ave and Vanguard Ave and on-going between Vanguard Ave and the left turn toward London on the A45. Note the right turn bus lane towards Birmingham remains in operation.

The works to the lines and signs along the routes that are being suspended in this first phase will be complete by the end of February. The bus lanes will be suspended for nine months under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order. After six months, Council officers will report their findings back to Council so further decisions can be made.

Another Earlsdon HIMO?

Five households in the residential area below St Barbara’s Church received an unwelcome Christmas letter informing them of a planning application which if approved would significantly change the nature of that local community.

The application is to change a residential elderly care home to a house of multiple occupation for 21 students.  Conversation between neighbours has shown a groundswell of opinion concerned about the impact on the local community caused by a significant, concentrated number of short-term residents in an area of family homes, these two communities naturally having differing interests. Again, there is little vehicle traffic, parking problems or noise associated with the care home at present; these aspects will inevitably increase substantially.

The wider concern is seeing a slow but sure change to the Earlsdon community. If every larger residential dwelling in our area goes this way, the community of Earlsdon will suffer loss in its character. This ambition to protect the community resonates with the SENA news article in the latest issue of ECHO (p10), seeking ‘to make Earlsdon a Conservation Area.’

Residents of this part of Earlsdon are looking for support from others who care about this change in the character of local neighbourhoods. Response may be via your local councillors, or by commenting on planning application number FUL/2016/2994 for 71-73 Rochester Road:

While the deadline for public consultation on this plan is 11 January it is possible this may be extended in view of controversial nature of the application and the level of local opposition.

Primary school children make anti-smoking packaging – BBC News

Earlsdon Primary School children have drawn anti-smoking packaging ahead of the country’s plain packaging rollout in 2017.

Source: Primary school children make anti-smoking packaging – BBC News

Coventry City deal to play at Butts Park Arena moves step closer

Coventry Rugby Limited has announced it has secured the head lease for the eight-acre city centre site

Source: Coventry City deal to play at Butts Park Arena moves step closer