Coventry & Warwickshire

Derelict Belgrade Plaza land frustrates Coventry council

Cordoned-off fountain at Belgrade Plaza
Image caption Deeley Properties bought Belgrade Plaza and surrounding land for development in 2007

Coventry City Council has said it is "incredibly frustrated" by land in the city centre that has been left undeveloped for seven years.

The authority said it hoped the owner of Belgrade Plaza and surrounding land would sell part of the site.

Deeley Properties bought the plot in 2007 and said financing its development had "not been easy".

The company has also cordoned off the plaza's centrepiece fountain, saying it needs repairs.

The development, with the Belgrade Theatre at its heart, has attracted some investment but also includes derelict land.

'Difficult to get cash'

The council has given planning consent in the past for apartments and student accommodation, but believes the developer subsequently decided those were not financially viable.

A spokesman from Deeley Properties said it was in advanced talks and a new planning application should be submitted "in the coming months".

"I am sure that people appreciate that bringing forward developments in the last few years has not been easy at any location outside the South East," he added.

Lesley Jackson who co-owns the neighbouring Town Walls Tavern said: "We've been here for seven years looking at this hoarding directly outside the pub... Mr Deeley saying that things are imminent, well it's 2014 and, nothing."

Martin Yardley, executive director of place at Coventry City Council, admitted that it was difficult for developers to find the "£60-£70m" to move plans forward.

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