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16 May 2023

By James

Category: Industry

To be demolished: an abandoned church in Coventry with asbestos and mouldy carpets.

A Coventry church that is falling apart and has lain dormant for more than ten years is about to be demolished to make way for a new care facility. Experts claim St. Nicholas Church in Radford is "severely dilapidated" and that repairing it would be more expensive than replacing it.

According to a report, the building's bell tower has a crack and the roof cover is gone, and its basement is flooded and includes dangerous asbestos located in this Coventry Church. The church's interior timber panels are "sodden," and water damage has made the carpets mouldy. There have also been significant roof leaks reported.

"All areas are extremely wet and damp," the report said. "Once the roof and external fabric has been repaired the property will need to be decontaminated and allowed to dry out."

It would need new heating, ventilation, and electrical systems, as well as a complete repair of its sewage drainage systems. Given the magnitude of the damage, rebuilding the church would cost £2.8 million, which is a significant amount more than the £2.44 million needed to start from scratch.

In the same night that the city's cathedral was attacked during the Coventry Blitz, the previous church bearing the same name was destroyed by explosives, prompting the construction of St. Nicholas church. The new church was designed by modernist architect Richard Twentyman and constructed between 1955 and 1957.

However, the Radford congregation left the church over 10 years ago because it was "untenable and unsafe," according to their website. Despite being locally listed, the church's heritage characteristics have been considerably diminished due to the degradation, according to the planning records.

According to a marketing study, the church has not attracted any serious offers since it went on the market, and it is further stated that there has been no significant interest in using the building for community purposes. Following objections from council officers over the poor design, a plan to demolish the chapel in order to build 14 affordable dwellings was abandoned in December 2021.

A request to demolish the structure and replace it with a three-story, 33-bed care facility was submitted to the council in April 2023.

The home's plans were created by Watson Batty architects, and Exemplar Health Care, which offers specialised care for adults with complex needs, will operate it. The care home, which would also utilise an empty land, is described in the application statement as being "much-needed" and bringing jobs to the neighbourhood.

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