Decision nears on plans for major regeneration of Coventry’s world-famous Daimler car factory
Plans for the major regeneration of the site of Coventry’s world-famous Daimler car factory are set to be decided.
Property and development company The Wigley Group, based in Warwickshire, has been masterminding the Daimler Wharf project on Sandy Lane, which will include 480 homes, a creative quarter and community spaces, for the past five years and it is now scheduled to go to planning committee this summer.
As well as creating a new community and regenerating what was the site of the world’s oldest car factory, Daimler Wharf will also link The Moorings housing development and Electric Wharf – the live-work scheme – to the Coventry Canal Basin and the city centre.
Daimler Wharf, which is designated for housing by Coventry City Council, is already the home of Daimler Powerhouse building — the only part of the car factory to survive Second World War bombing — which was transformed by The Wigley Group as part of the UK City of Culture.
The company donated £350,000 to allow the project to happen and has also agreed a highly-discounted 20-year lease to the group of community arts organisations based there.
Robert Wigley, chairman of the group, says the driver to create Daimler Wharf goes back almost 60 years when his father John founded the company.
“The Wigley Group has worked across Coventry and Warwickshire for almost six decades and created developments which have brought economic and community vitality, often on redundant industrial sites,” he said.
“The family recognises the role the city has played in the history and fortunes of The Wigley Group and has been determined to create something of community and regeneration benefit and we believe Daimler Wharf will deliver just that.
“It is currently an industrial site and we could have redeveloped it for commercial use which would have been swifter and more cost effective, but the site is so important strategically as it is the one missing link to the Canal Basin and the city centre, that we didn’t feel it right to do that.
“The site is key to bringing economic vitality to an area just on the fringe of the city and, as a family and a company, we realised its strategic importance.”
The development will include a mixture of one, two and three bed homes, flexible live-work homes and 1,200m of space for commercial, arts, leisure and community activities.
The Wigley Group will create a linear park and two public squares that will act as focal points for the new community, and there will be pedestrian and cycle links through the new community to Coventry Canal, car charging points, and an electric bike and scooter station.
James Davies CEO of The Wigley Group, added: “We have invested heavily to masterplan Daimler Wharf to ensure that it will bring sustainable urban living and truly create a new way of community living. There is a huge emphasis on re-purposing brownfield sites, which requires fresh thinking and new ways of urban planning.
“We have consulted widely with local ward councillors, the local community and business groups and have had 80 per cent very strong support which is unusually high for a city centre scheme.”