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Coventry Market

Volume 514: debated on Monday 26 July 2010

12. What factors he took into account in reviewing English Heritage’s decision to list Coventry market. (10681)

In deciding to retain Coventry market on the statutory list, I took into account the architectural and historical interest of the building, as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

I am surprised by the Minister’s answer, because if architectural design were taken into consideration that building would not pass muster. Is he aware that that scheme means that hundreds of millions of pounds of modernisation money now cannot be spent in Coventry city centre? Will he meet a delegation to consider this further?

I sympathise with the hon. Gentleman, who took the trouble to write to me in advance laying out some of his concerns. My problem is that economic considerations are not part of the factors that I am allowed to consider under the 1990 Act. I can reassure him that the fact that the building is listed as grade II does not mean that it cannot be touched. In fact, there are many examples every year of listed buildings at grade II that are altered, and in some cases pulled down, for economic reasons, depending on the decision of the local planning authority.