Icknield Port Loop has been shortlisted for an Urban Design Group Award. There is a write up of the project plus information on the other shortlisted projects in the latest version of the Urban Design Journal
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Icknield Port Loop
Icknield Port Loop has been identified as a development opportunity for a number of years. There had been a number of masterplans done for the site including a previous scheme by Glenn Howells Architects for the developer Isis in 2007 and a plan developed as part of draft planning policy by the city council. The site was also identified as a growth node and a Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood in a number of studies as well as in the emerging LDF.
The current plan started in the Autumn of 2010 and was based on the shared vision of the land owners, British Waterways, Birmingham City Council and The Homes and Communities Agency: ‘To create by 2025, a high-quality, family orientated, sustainable and mixeduse waterside neighbourhood’. The northern part of the area is mostly vacant industrial land while land to the south includes the Ladywood Arts & Leisure Centre which is scheduled to close next year. The whole area is dominated by canals with the Mainline Canal to the north and the older Loop Canal making an island of the central area.
The new plan includes around 1,000 new homes plus a hotel, workspace, shops a pub and a new community centre, all gathered around a new neighbourhood park. The scheme differs from the previous proposal in concentrating more on family housing rather than flats and for this reason there are fewer units. The majority of the scheme is made up of family housing and there is also substantially more open space. The aim is to create a lively new neighbourhood linking Ladywood to the South to Soho in the north and providing a focus for both communities.
Icknield Port Loop was featured in the Birmingham Mail on Saturday. Please click the link to read the full story. The paper featured one of the images URBED produced for the Design & Access Statement. The others are also shown below. The proposal is currently awaiting a decision for outline planning permission.
Above: View along the canal showing the proposed housetypes.
Above: View accross park to housing with frontage on to the park. Several buildings will be kept on the site and one will be turned into a new community sports facility.
The masterplan has now been submitted to Birmingham City Ceouncil Planning department for outline planning. The masterplan is decibled in the Design and Access Statement, available to download. This illustrative masterplan includes land use, massing, access, public realm and the waterspace strategy. The entirety of this document is illustrative meaning it shows how the scheme could be developed in line with a planning application. It is however an outline application and the content of this statement goes beyond the scope and detailed to be fixed at the outline stage.
Over the past few weeks we have been undertaking a public consultation of the masterplan for Icknield Port Loop. The proposed scheme was drawn up and illustrated with exemplar images to engage people in discussion about the kinds of developments that could take place, the types of housing they prefer and canal-side activities they thought the area could sustain. Many people asked questions which were answered by members of the client and design team. Overall the feedback on the day was very positive, with the majority of people stating during discussions with the consultant team that they couldn’t wait for the improvements to start, as this would ‘lift’ the area.
The results of this consultation can be seen in the Statement of Community Involvement which will become part of a planning application.