The scheme was created in mind to meet the city’s hope of bringing more residents into the centre. Lowesmoor Wharf is set to deliver 238 modern one, two and three-bedroom apartments with balconies, with residents having access to private indoor and outdoor spaces including rooftop terraces and community areas across the six residential buildings.
The development will also help to attract more businesses and jobs into Worcester through providing office, retail and food and beverage space, all set within landscaped public areas.
In response to feedback received from the community, organisations and planners, the height of the tallest element of the scheme has now been significantly lowered to meet the requirements of the Worcester City Masterplan. The development now goes up from three to a maximum of eight storeys at Lowesmoor Terrace, with two of the canal facing buildings having also been reduced by a storey each.
An expert assessment on the visual impact of the revised proposals – also submitted as a part of the rejigged plans - has been carried out and shows that views of Worcester Cathedral and other significant landmarks in the city are not compromised.
Furthermore, the proposed hard and soft landscaping throughout the scheme has been amended to include suggestions by Worcester City Council and the Canal & River Trust, the charity with guardianship over the UK’s waterways. The mixture of new materials, that are better suited to the conservation area, have been enhanced by additional trees and wildflower areas, which will improve the biodiversity of the site.
New landscaping features have also been integrated to better define the towpaths and walkways, balancing accessibility for residents and visitors with security for existing boat users and businesses. Improvements to the servicing of the scheme have also been introduced, protecting the marina and decreasing waste vehicle trips across the scheme.
As with the former proposals, the scheme will continue to prioritise the use of walking and cycling, as well as public transport, and therefore will be mostly car-free. However, as an additional amenity, it will include 12 car parking spaces and operate a ‘car club’ model for residents. This will allow car sharing – including disabled parking spaces and electric vehicle charging - while the 606 secure cycle storage spaces on-site will improve walking and cycling opportunities throughout the development and further afield.
The retention of heritage assets on-site has also been a major factor, with the proposed scheme planning to carefully restore, for community use, the Portmaster’s House and the buildings facing Lowesmoor Wharf. The addition of water features resembling the historic canal fingers will echo the rich history of the site, while also creating focal points for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Development director at Godwin Developments, Matt Chandler, commented: “Lowesmoor Wharf is a scheme of exceptional quality and outstanding design but most of all a scheme of ambition – to bring new residents, visitors and businesses to central Worcester and retain them through an exciting destination that caters to living, working, socialising and being closer to nature.”
Chandler concluded: “I am confident that this development fits well with Worcester’s vision for the future. It is both forward-looking in its design and sustainability, seeking to create new spaces for people, attract investment and benefit the local community, while also responding to the city’s rich heritage and supporting it in its post-COVID recovery.”
In response to Worcester City Council’s declaration of a climate emergency and ambitions for Worcester to be a carbon-neutral city, Lowesmoor Wharf includes a range of sustainable features including roof-mounted PV panels for on-site energy generation, green sedum roofs for insulation, noise reduction and improved air quality, LED lighting, an efficient building fabric, heat recovery systems, rainwater attenuation and air source heat pumps for the commercial units on site.
If approved, the development is set to bring a major economic boost to the city of Worcester and the surrounding areas. Evaluation by international consultants Rider Levett Bucknall rated the scheme as “outstanding”- contributing almost £4 for every £1 invested.
The development will give a whole life value of £362 million and create 175 jobs, apprenticeships and work placements in the construction phase alone.