Architecture minister Barbara Follett has been asked to review the listing of Coventry’s famous 1958 market building.
The circular ‘flying saucer’ building, designed by the city’s architecture department, was given a Grade-II listing in June by the DCMS following advice from English Heritage.
The request to review the listing follows complaints from the local authority that the listing the market building was holding back the city’s £1billion regeneration proposals. Protests from Coventry MPs Jim Cunningham and Geoffrey Robinson added to the discontent around the decision.
Follett has the power to reverse the listing. However, while protestors claim the listed status could impede further development, no refersal could be made on those grounds alone. A spokesman from the DCMS said this morning: ‘The listing will only be reversed if there is new evidence. Only architectural or historical factors can be taken account.’
Under the current proposals, drawn up by US architects the Jerde Partnership (see bottom right), the saucer-shaped building would have been pulled down and the traders relocated to a ‘much better position’ which recognised the market’s ‘role s a true anchor in the city’.