Transforming and future proofing cities through sustainable brownfield development

Our director of delivery in the Midlands, Nick Heath, talks about how sustainability and brownfield regeneration are, hand-in-hand, transforming Nottingham and future proofing the city for exponential growth…

For generations Nottingham has depended on the steady flow of the River Trent, cutting a path through the city and Waterside – an area of the city that is experiencing extensive regeneration. Forming part of this is the Trent Basin project – a sustainable development scheme between Willmott Dixon and Blueprint, which is creating over 75 low-energy family homes. But how is sustainability and brownfield regeneration working hand-in-hand to future proof the city?

A new generation of space

It’s a classic regeneration challenge – transforming a derelict industrial landscape and major inland port into living and community spaces. Several projects for the area were promised but never came to fruition until 2011 when plans for the Trent Basin residential redevelopment began, designed to reconnect the city with the River Trent.

Trent Basin Ph1 -06417-053 copy.jpg

The Trent Lane Depot – a historic inland dock on the River Trent – still serves as a reminder of the area’s importance when it came to distributing goods across the Midlands. The Depot will continue to sit at the centre of the new development, which is providing sustainable, eco-conscious living for future generations. It’s a really exciting project for us. At its very heart is regional heritage; mixing that with regeneration and modern sustainable practices is what makes it so different.

Collaborative working

What’s clear about this project is our collective commitment, with Blueprint, to deliver beyond standard building regulations. Together we’ve set stringent targets and it’s our expertise in brownfield construction that has helped us to deliver against these ambitions, achieving the development’s high expectations.

If you look at it statistically, between 2001 and 2011 the population of Nottinghamshire grew by 37,300. This was huge for the county and is only set to continue. To support this speedy growth, and to ensure a strong and stable future for Nottingham, we need to continue to deliver sustainable, high-quality housing using this scheme as a benchmark.

Trent Basin Ph1 -06417-061 copy.jpg

The future of Nottingham’s waterways

Away from the Trent Basin scheme, I’ve noticed a united drive in the public and private sector to bring Nottingham’s waterways back into public access, with many future residential and commercial schemes in the pipeline for this area of the city. I firmly believe that this scheme was the spark that lit the flame for the wider regeneration of the area. Others have now seen the success that it has achieved and how, together, we’ve unlocked the potential of a brownfield site, repurposing it for the greater good and setting a benchmark for the future.