This interesting project combined a lot of our areas of expertise in planning and architecture on the outskirts of Coventry. We were commissioned to design a 225-berth marina for narrowboats close to the well-known Hawkesbury Junction – also known as Sutton Stop – on the Oxford and Coventry canal.
The land had previously been used as a coal-fired power station, but had been decommissioned in the 1980s and landfilled in the 1990s. Since then, the open area close to the outskirts of Coventry had become well-known for anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping.
Lapworth then came up with the concept of a marina to meet the demand for berths on the busy canal, and designed not only the marina, but 24 housing units and 36 light industrial units to serve both the local area and the marina. The scheme was designed with long-term economical and living sustainability in mind, with several conditions needing to be met before the housing could be constructed.
The entire development was designed with a green travel plan in mind, both for the construction and for the later usage – with measures such as cycle storage made obligatory and no direct car access except for in emergencies.
The landscaping of the project was also important, and our designs retained a great deal of the openness of the site and ensured a ‘green link’ to the surrounding fields and countryside. Although the site was in the green belt, it was considered low-quality and the effects of development were thought to improve on the current state of the land.
A further condition of construction was that the housing on the site could not be occupied until the marina was operational to stop developers taking advantage of the planning permission and ignoring the construction of the other elements of the project.
Unfortunately, the planning permission expired on this project, and the land is up for sale again. However, it’s an excellent example of our skill at mixed-use developments, bringing together housing, light industrial and leisure facilities together in a single project to improve the surrounding area and provide local employment.