Why Evans Heritage Developments Should Remove Heritage from their Name

Let me introduce you to Rhys Evans, a local daring-do powerboat sportsman who blasts across the open blue without a care in the world. “When not ripping up the water, Rhys takes time to get in a few hours flying helicopters” observed one awestruck reporter.


On a more mundane level, Rhys runs Uppingham-based luxury bric-and-brac shop, Goodwin and Belle, who are proud of their products which display their “true love of simple, functional and beautiful design, appropriate in both traditional and contemporary environments”.


Incidentally, Rhys is also a keen property tycoon and has just lodged plans with the Council to demolish a beautiful building on Oxford Street (see below), to make way for… you guessed it, yet more student accommodation. His firm, Evans Heritage Developments — which Rhys runs with his father — fervently believes that Leicester needs to ignore our heritage in order that the Evans family can profit from endless supplies of student housing.


Evans’ first student build in the city centre, Oxford House, is home to 55 students, while their second site, Oxford Grange was completed in 2011 and houses a further 148 students. Charging around £100 a week such accommodation is quite a money-spinner for Rhys and his father (rent at the two sites brings in around £80,000 a month).

According to Stuart Bailey of the Leicester Civic Society, the building that Rhys would like to needlessly destroy “is a fine city centre example of a c1890 hosiery factory and adds much to the otherwise diminishing architectural quality of Oxford Street, which has lost two old pubs, Ladies Pride Knitwear and the Fox’s works in recent years.” Stuart adds, these already lost properties “have all been replaced by blocks of poor quality student apartments.”

Sadly, rip-off student housing seems all the rage in Leicester, this all in the face of the city’s growing crisis of affordable social housing (see my earlier article “Leicester’s Housing Scandal”).

Yet if our Council were in the hands of a progressive political party, then efforts could be made to convert many of our city’s beautiful currently derelict buildings into much-needed council homes. But alas this is not the case at the moment… anyway.

For the time being, if you want to object to the continuing misuse of our city centre by fat-cat profiteers, then click this link to make an objection to the demolition; and while you are at it, why not make an alternative suggestion for what you think our city needs.




  1. My objection “The City of Leicester is permanently covered in large ads for student accommodation all year round; might this have something to do with the reduction in the number of students moving into Leicester?
    What the City does need is far more genuinely affordable accommodation for the ever growing numbers of it’s residents who are homeless and potentially homeless individuals and families. Why not utilise these properties for this much needed transformation; further Why does the Council not purchase those ‘student flats’ empty for one year or more to add to it’s diminishing housing stock?
    It is time for this Council to look after it’s residents First.”

    Took a whole 5 minutes – if you care about Leicester and i’s people object Today.

  2. Submitted my objection. Another developer on the lines of other developers I’m sure you’re familiar with. You know they get grants to build student lets then even if they sit empty they can apply for change of use after three years. It’s a scandal. There are more and more people living rough or in inadequate accommodation. Leicester needs social housing.

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