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New venue for city bingo fans; DETAILS RELEASED OF REPLACEMENT FOR DOOMED HIPPODROME.

Byline: LUCY WILSON

THIS is the first picture of Coventry city centre's new bingo hall.

The venue - which will replace Gala's current bingo hall at the former Hippodrome building - will be built on a temporary car park in Fairfax Street.

The 22,240sqm, flat-roofed, brick and glass building will have a large curved window at its entrance and on the opposite side will be a glass turret. The main auditorium will seat 1,110.

Planners yesterday backed the scheme for a site near to Pool Meadow bus station, a stone's throw from the exisiting bingo hall, which is being bulldozed.

City councillors told a planning committee meeting yesterday that the proposal was good but there were concerns about some of the details. They delegated the decision on planning permission to the council's planning officers, who will work through details with Gala Bingo before granting permission.

Cllr Sheila Collins (Lab, Longford) said: "The design of the building compliments the bus station. It's much nicer than the Hippodrome in my opinion, although I am concerned about the expanse of brick facing Fairfax Street."

Cllr Caron Matchet (Con, Wainbody) said: "I am concerned about the roof. There's a lot of flat roof there with the potential to be a real eyesore."

Cllr Karen McKay (Soc, St Michaels) said she was concerned about loss of car park spaces and thought people might be put off from staying at the Britannia Hotel if they could not park close by.

Objections were sent to the council by the Britannia Hotel, in Fairfax Street, Coventry Accessible Transport Group and campaign group Coventry People's Action. They were all unhappy about the loss of car parking spaces.

Coventry People's Action also said the building was not of a high enough architectural standard.

After the meeting, deputy city council leader Cllr John Mutton (Lab, Binley and Willenhall) said: "This new venue, which will to some degree mirror elements of the architectural style of the former theatre, will be far more suitable for Gala and their customers. It is an ideal solution."

CAPTION(S):

NEW LOOK: Artist's impressions of the planned new Gala bingo hall, which will mirror elements of the architectural style of the former Hippodrome theatre, which it will replace as part of the city centre Phoenix Initiative
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jun 15, 2001
Words:379
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