The Island Quarter site is a 36-acre tract of land in the centre of Nottingham that has stood largely derelict for the last 20 years. Axis led a large multi-disciplinary team throughout a number of planning processes, including a substantial outline application for a mixture of residential and commercial uses, supported by a comprehensive EIA, and three detailed applications for individual phases and sub-phases.
Developer Conygar approached us for assistance in transforming the forgotten area into a thriving mixed-use community, creating a vibrant and attractive public realm that would bring the built development forward in response to market forces.
The key challenge was to secure planning permission for such a large city-centre project while incorporating sustainability elements that would both reflect the developer’s green credentials and contribute positively towards Nottingham’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2028.
We led a large multi-disciplinary team throughout a number of planning processes, including a substantial outline application for a mixture of residential and commercial uses, supported by a comprehensive EIA, and three detailed applications for individual phases and sub-phases.
Each application was developed in line with the principles and parameters approved through the outline permission, including sustainability and placemaking goals. Our remit included planning and EIA coordination, advising on transportation and producing detailed landscape design work on the placemaking aspects of the expansive areas of public realm. The design development also reflected expectations that future users will see nearby high quality outdoor space as a priority when deciding on where to live, work and play, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In planning The Island Quarter’s regeneration, sustainability was a key focus, being essential to securing the support of the city council while satisfying Conygar’s own environmental standards. Each application therefore included a comprehensive sustainability and energy statement, explaining how the proposals could take advantage of the city’s district heating network, promote biodiversity and contribute towards a net zero future for Nottingham.
In June 2020, Axis secured outline planning permission for more than 2.5 million square feet of development. Three further detailed applications have since been submitted for a pavilion building to host restaurants and events, two inter-related (long and short stay) hotels, approximately 250 Build To Rent apartments, co-living space and purpose-built accommodation for around 700 students, all set within high quality public realm.
Axis has been involved with every facet of this ongoing project, leading on all planning fronts and working with Conygar to maximise the commercial opportunity while maintaining the environmental standards identified for the project at the outset. It is envisaged that the development will take about 15 years to complete.
David Jones, Director at Axis, said: “Working on The Island Quarter scheme with Conygar has been a great experience for the Axis team. It’s fantastic to see the proposals taking shape on site at the Canal Turn. This initial first phase will set the tone of what’s to come in the wider development and represents an exciting new dawn for this neglected part of the city. Its focus on placemaking will ensure it’s a sustainable destination in every sense for generations to come.”
Christopher Ware, Property Director at Conygar, said: “The team at Axis has brought their planning and placemaking expertise to the table and have made a significant contribution to the scheme’s progress so far. We are all very excited to see the development come to life over the next few years.”
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