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Keep the heart of the community, said developer Spon End

image caption, Mark Gibbins called on developer to bring back ‘sense of community’

The developer behind a proposed town regeneration scheme has been urged to “keep the heart of the community”.

Plans to transform Coventry’s Spon End were unveiled during a public consultation event held at Coventry Rugby Club on Monday.

During the event, people raised concerns about whether the proposed development would preserve some of the area’s natural beauty and bring back a “sense of community”.

Developer Citizen Housing said the community had “waited a long time” for the development, which it said would create 750 high-quality homes.

  • Author, Tom Cooke
  • Role, BBC Radio CWR

Following the event, resident Ashley Spindler told BBC Radio CWR that the planned development had a positive aesthetic but was concerned there was “no real focus on the community living in Spon End”.

“We want to maintain our sense of community and belonging,” he added.

Audio subtitlingListen on BBC Sounds: Blocks at Coventry’s Spon End to be demolished

As part of the project, blocks containing around 449 homes would be demolished to make way for the 750 new homes.

Citizen Housing said it would take 12-15 years to deliver the scheme, which also included improvements to green space and the River Sherbourne.

But resident Mark Gibbins said the developer should work to preserve the existing trees around the property, adding they had always been “the beauty of Spon End”.

He said: “When people lived there it was a community. There were people outside all the time. It had such a great sense of community.

“Now that’s gone, and I think if we’re ever going to gain that sense of community, it’s going to take a long, long time.”

image caption, Citizen Housing aims to build 750 new homes on the estate

Kevin Roach, director of regeneration services at Citizen Housing, said the new homes would be “high quality” and energy efficient.

He said residents living in the buildings to be demolished have been relocated and will be given a chance to move back to the newly redeveloped property.

“It was a project that the community had been waiting for a long time,” added Mr Roach.

He said the developer aims to submit a planning application in late July or early August.

Subject to obtaining planning permission, Citizen hopes to start construction in spring 2025, following the demolition of the blocks.