Icknield Port Loop


Outline planning application for demolition of buildings and a mixed use redevelopment of up to 1150 dwellings, retail, service, employment, leisure and non-residential institutions uses (Use Class C3, B1, A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, D1 & D2) of up to 6960 square metres (gross internal area) (including up to 2500 square metres of retail) (gross internal area) together with hotel and community facilities, open space, landscaping and associated works including roads, cycleways, footpaths, car parking and canal crossings. Change of use of industrial buildings fronting Rotton Park Street to leisure, retail and non-residential institutions (Use Class A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B1, D1 & D2)

Icknield Port Loop is a recently approved outline plan for a new housing development that will include a hotel, pub, supermarket and a community centre. The site has been identified for many years as being a suitable place for development.  It is located between Edgbaston and Ladywood, just near Edgbaston reservoir, and its main feature is the the Icknield Port Loop canal that runs through the site.

What makes this site different to most new housing developments is the fact that it is close to the city centre (just a 10 minute walk from NIA along the canal), and that it will be a mixture of housing densities. The plans indicate that it won’t be run of the mill semi detached houses, and that whilst there will be apartments on the site they won’t be in the majority. Instead the site will have some innovative housing types that are shown further below.

The revised Design & Access Statement (Part I and Part II) have addressed some earlier concerns with the original plan and include a wider canal path around the side (as opposed to no path, and just houses being up to the waters edge on both side).

Due to the mix of densities proposed there are quite a few different housetypes proposed, the most controversial type proposed in the plan, and whilst they mention how they are popular in the Netherlands there has been some comparison to the Victorian back-to-backs.

“I am not convinced that people want courtyard living, particularly if you share the space with a noisy family. Wherever they are in the world these things quickly become slums.”
Councillor Barry Henley

Though the site also has some modern interpretations of terraced and other low density houses such as the monument type.  Overall the feeling from the outline plan is that the mixture of densities will give the area its own distinct zones and have their own communities, but are joined together through the use of the parkland and canal network.

It’s certainly better than the current cleared land, and hopefully construction will get under way in 2013, in a phased approach.  The overall intention is ‘to create by 2025, a high-quality, family orientated, sustainable and mixed use waterside neighbourhood’, and I think these plans will help improve the area as a whole.

Courtyard houses

These are based on the Dutch model. We are showing one type that works as a back to back with an internal parking space and courtyard and a roof garden. Another type works as a through house backing onto the canal.

Waterside Houses:

These are houses that fill the entire plot and run from the back of pavement to the waters edge. They include an internal courtyard and parking and roof gardens plus the possibility of a private mooring.

‘Monument Houses’ – Modern terraced housing in the lower density areas:

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