Revised plans for sustainable community in Coventry city submitted

CGI of Abbotts Park
Abbots Park Coventry

Revised plans to create a new sustainable community on the edge of Coventry city centre have been submitted for planning approval.

Birmingham architects Glenn Howells Architects and BPN were brought in to undertake a total redesign of the project in consultation with local residents following concerns expressed at a Coventry City Council planning committee on previous proposals in January.

The fresh proposals will create a new community of 700 homes called Abbotts Park on the 5.5-acre former industrial site. The mix of home types range from three-bedroom townhouses to one and two-bedroom apartments with 20 per cent affordable housing provided for those on lower incomes.

Sustainability is at the heart of the scheme, with new links to the city centre encouraging residents not to own cars. There will be a minimum of 15 spaces for a shared car club and 25% of all car parking spaces will be for electric vehicle charging.

The new buildings are also being designed with increased carbon efficiency to levels that are 40 per cent above the requirements of building regulations.

The new Linear Park with the recreated Radford Brook and over 1,000 trees and saplings planted, runs through the centre of the scheme and connects under the ring road to Belgrade Plaza. The park, which is nearing completion and due to open in February 2022, also includes a children’s play area, a climbing wall and a feature ‘Zen Arch’ structure that crosses the brook.

A small village centre with a convenience store, café and other facilities will give the new development a community heart and plans also include a new orchard and wildlife area project with the pupils of nearby St Osburg’s Primary School.

Kathryn Ventham of planning consultants, Barton Willmore, said: “We listened to feedback from local residents and the Council’s Planning Committee and went back to the drawing board with new architects that are some of the best in the region.

“The team has been working closely with planning officers for the past nine months to make sure all of the concerns are taken on board. The result is a much better scheme which we hope will be welcomed by the Planning Committee early next year.

“The project raises the bar on sustainability and provides the quality of environment that is much-needed if we are to attract people to live in a way that is kinder to the planet, where they can walk to work in the city centre.

“The improvements to the city centre in recent years have made an astounding transformation and it is now a place where many people want to live. It’s always difficult being the first to pioneer a change in the way we do things, but this is a change that Coventry needs to make if we are to minimise the loss of the Green Belt and tackle air quality.”

Rob King, Associate at Glenn Howells Architects, said: “Working collaboratively with BPN Architects and Robert Colborne Landscape we have reimagined the plans for new homes at Abbotts Park that will see sustainability and landscape-led spaces at its heart.

“Our proposals take inspiration from the surrounding materials of the Naul’s Mill conservation area to provide a collection of well-proportioned residential buildings.

“In what will be a great step forward to regenerate the former Abbotts Lane Gas works, our designs will limit the routes for vehicles and prioritise pedestrian movements to help transform this industrial site into a vibrant new neighbourhood.

“The creation of a new community orchard, green residential courtyards and linear raingardens will increase biodiversity across the site and provide safe spaces for social interaction, families and doorstep play.”