Coventry’s world-famous Daimler car factory site is the subject of major regeneration plans, with Warwickshire-based property and development company The Wigley Group aiming to turn it into a vibrant new neighbourhood.
The group has submitted an outline planning application to Coventry City Council for the mixed-use development on the seven-acre brownfield site on Sandy Lane in the Radford area of the city. The site currently plays host to an industrial estate and business park, and Coventry City Council has also designated it for social housing.
If approved, the new development would be known as Daimler Wharf, and would reconnect the area to Coventry Canal, creating a large public common whilst providing up to 480 new homes. These would be a mixture of one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes and flexible live-work 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, while direct pedestrian and cycle links through the new community to Coventry Canal will also enhance the pedestrian corridor into the city centre.
Residents will also have access to electric car charging points, an electric bike and scooter station, as well as other flexible commercial space.
The Daimler Powerhouse building is the only part of the car factory to survive the Blitz in the Second World War and has already been transformed into a creative hub as part of the completed first phase of the Daimler Wharf scheme.
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, who will work with young and emerging artists to hone their skills. The centre is a key feature of Coventry’s UK City of Culture 2021 status 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 needs 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.”