Abbott’s Park Planning Application

A CGI of Abbott’s Park

The Coventry Society has given a cautious welcome to the revised plans for the former Abbott’s Lane gasworks site following a presentation on the plans by Ian Harrabin at our meeting in January.

Abbotts Park is the 5.5-acre derelict former gas works site on Abbotts Lane, just outside the city centre. It is planned to provide 710 homes with a mix of three-bedroom townhouses and one and two-bedroom apartments with the new Radford Brook Linear Park as the centrepiece to the development.

Complex Development Projects has undertaken a wholesale re-design of the scheme after a previous application to build on the land was rejected by Coventry City Council last year.

The company has taken on board concerns over access and parking and has re-designed the scheme to be more family orientated.

The number of homes has been reduced slightly from 731 to 710 and there will be a mix of low to mid-rise homes to meet the needs of Coventry’s housing market (the previous scheme included a 22 storey apartment block). 20% of the housing will be “affordable”.

The allocation of parking has been increased and includes electric vehicle charging, shared car clubs and a residents’ permit scheme to remove any impact on surrounding streets. A total of 244 car parking spaces are provided, exceeding the 33% target required by the Council.

The Coventry Society recognises that many people will be concerned about the low level of car park spaces required by the City Council, but we feel that the location of this development, so close to all the facilities of the city centre and the opportunity for the use of car clubs will provide a good testbed for this approach. The development is targeting younger adults who are less reliant on private transport than older families.

CDP has created the Linear Park feature upfront, including recreating the Radford Brook in a natural valley reversing over 200 years of industrial development.

Work on the Linear Park is nearing completion and creates a direct landscaped link from the city centre under the ring road to Naul’s Mill Park. Features include a climbing wall, amphitheatre, feature ‘Zen’ arch structure, children’s play area and over 1,000 trees.

The announced proposals on land either side of the Linear Park make landscaping a key feature with the green theme running throughout the development.

The proposals prioritise pedestrian movement along green routes creating a green connection between the surrounding community and the Belgrade Theatre under a raised section of the ring road.

Abbotts Park is planned to have a small village centre with a convenience store, café and other facilities to give the new development a community heart distinct from the city centre only a short walk away.

Ian Harrabin, Managing Director of CDP, said: “We went back to the drawing board after feedback from the public and Planning Committee. The result is a much better scheme, based on sustainable principles that reduce our impact on climate change.

“The re-use of this derelict industrial site, in a central location where people can walk to work and use public transport, saves a large area of green fields from future development and reduces reliance on the car. This has to be the future if we are to live in balance with our environment.

“We have made sure to prioritise pedestrians, green spaces and tree planting but still creating a density that saves a huge amount of land from suburban development. In this location you won’t need a car, but we have recognised that some of the residents will still want a parking space.

“We have moved the parking access far away from St Osburg’s Primary School and a new orchard and wildlife area will be created opposite the school which will engage pupils in the natural environment.”

The Coventry Society has responded to the application as follows: “The current application addresses many of the concerns raised in relation to the previous, refused application for development on this site. The detailed application for two plots at the western end of the site addresses concerns over height and scale and parking and landscaping which were raised in relation to the previous application. These proposals are far more sympathetic to the local area. Whilst there may still be concern over details of proposals for the central and eastern part of the site, particularly in relation to height and scale, these are matters for consideration in a subsequent detailed application. The linear park running through the centre of the site is a great asset in relation to this proposed development and an asset to the local area and community.

“On the basis of the comments above, the Coventry Society supports this application.”

Public consultation on the planning application is still open and you can read the full application and make online comments here.  The deadline for comments is Wednesday 3rd February 2022.

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