The site of the factory where the UK’s first motor car was built is to be redeveloped.
Midlands property and development company The Wigley Group has submitted an outline planning application to Coventry City Council for the mixed-use development on Sandy Lane in Coventry, West Midlands, where the city’s world-famous Daimler car factory once stood.
The seven-acre brownfield site sits on the side of the Coventry Canal and is currently a dated business park and industrial estate. It is designated for housing by Coventry City Council.
Central to the proposals is the integration of the site — to be known as Daimler Wharf — with the existing community by reconnecting the area to Coventry Canal and creating a large public common.
The outline planning application for a new community for living and work, culture and leisure includes up to 480 new homes made up of a mixture of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms, and flexible work-live units.
At the heart of the high-quality development will be a linear park and two public squares that will act as focal points for the new community.
Direct pedestrian and cycle links through the new community to Coventry Canal will also enhance the pedestrian corridor into the city centre.
There will be electric car charging points, and an electric bike and scooter station, as well as other flexible commercial space.
The first phase of the Daimler Wharf scheme has already been completed, with the refurbishment of the Daimler Powerhouse building — the only part of the car factory to survive Second World War bombing — into a creative hub.
The Daimler Powerhouse Creation Centre is run by Imagineer Productions and home to four other resident creative arts companies: Highly Sprung, Media Mania, Open Theatre and Talking Birds.
They will develop their own outdoor arts and theatre from there, and work with young and emerging artists. The centre is also playing an integral part in supporting Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture 2021 as a production centre for major performance works.
Mike Vining, Land and Development Director at The Wigley Group, said: “Our vision has always been to build on the site’s great heritage. We have already started to deliver on that by investing in the only remaining part of the Daimler car factory to once again make this important heritage asset a real focal point as a state-of-the-art creative hub.
“The wider plans that will build on phase one are for a new and vibrant neighbourhood that addresses local housing need and offers visual improvements alongside environmental benefits that will contribute to the city’s aspirations for a cleaner and greener future.
“Over the past three years we have consulted widely with local stakeholders and the surrounding community. The feedback has been very positive and has helped shape the scheme which we are now delighted to be presenting to Coventry City Council.”
James Davies, Chief Executive Officer at The Wigley Group, said: “When we acquired this site in 2006, we saw straight away the potential that it had for redevelopment and the contribution that a high-quality northern quarter could make to the wider regeneration of this part of the city and how it will link through the Canal Basin the heart of the Coventry.
“This site has been designated for housing by Coventry City Council for a number of years and this scheme presents the opportunity to now bring this site forward to realise its full potential in helping to address local housing needs, but also to reinvigorate the area through the creation of a northern gateway to the city centre that celebrates Coventry’s industrial past and cultural future.”