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Nottingham’s Waterway House Revival gets green light

Plans to rejuvenate the site of a derelict office building in Nottingham have taken a significant step forward as Rainier Developments has received planning approval for an exemplary residential project close to the railway station. Waterway House, located on Waterway Street, promises to breathe new life into the area with the creation of nearly 200 modern apartments.


Thanks to designs from leading consultancy, BDP, the 0.62-acre site, acquired from Nottingham City Council by Rainier Developments last year, is being transformed into a highly sustainable, community-led place, including an eight-storey residential block featuring 191 one and two-bedroom apartments. The development will contribute to the city’s overall housing stock mix and meet the significant demand for homes of this type and size in the city.

The design approach blends the surrounding urban and suburban landscape and also incorporates a smaller southern block as a transitional element, which reflects the shift from city scale to suburban living. In line with Nottingham City Council’s commitment to become the first carbon neutral city in the country by 2028, the new homes are designed to reduce carbon emissions in accordance with the Future Homes Standard which sets out the Government’s pathway for net zero homes. Amongst other sustainable design interventions, the homes include green roofs, solar panels and air source heat pumps.

Tom Hewitt, Architect Director at BDP, explains: “Our design reflects our appreciation of the site’s history and its location at an important gateway into the city as well as recognising the need for more sustainable and accessible homes in Nottingham. The result is a development with a distinctive character and which we believe creates a unique sense of place that residents and local people can be proud of.”


The integration of green spaces is inspired by suburban life in Nottingham and the connection with green areas nearby. Terraces adorned with greenery extend into a central courtyard, creating a direct correlation between the built environment and the green corridor of Meadows Way. The development seeks a net gain in biodiversity through the inclusion of integrated bird and bat boxes and wildlife-friendly planting, protecting local habitats and species from the changing climate.

The design creates a 360o development where residents living on the ground floor will have access to their apartments, directly from street-level. The apartments are raised up to provide some privacy, offering views of the green space while enabling active frontages on Arkwright Street, Newthorpe Street and Waterway Street.

In respect of the local architectural character, Waterway House will utilise design features and materials that reflect and reference the nearby Victorian buildings, using inset windows, brick colours and details which are reminiscent of the personality of central Nottingham.

Hewitt continues: “It is fantastic to see this project approved at the council’s planning committee. The design underscores Rainier Developments' commitment to sustainable and community-centric places. Our design concept brings life to an enhanced public realm and by incorporating feedback from local stakeholders, we are sure that the building will enrich the local built environment and open a new chapter of urban living in Nottingham.”


Will Blacker, Land Director at Ranier Developments, said: “Waterway House has an important role to play in supporting the city’s rising demand for homes, so I am delighted to see this development edging closer to reality having worked closely with the city council planning team.

“The site is set within an area of Victorian heritage that is still seen to this day in other nearby buildings which we wanted the new development to respect, and so the new-look Waterway House will reflect this.

“Developments of this type only serve to enhance Nottingham’s profile as a desirable destination to live and work – especially with the nearby links to rail, tram and bus – and I am looking forward to seeing the development come to life.”

With planning approval secured, Rainier Developments is poised to commence work in the Spring 2024.


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