New designs have been released by HS2 to show how the River Cole in Warwickshire could become a Heritage Hotspot, transforming it for the enjoyment of local people.
Two viaducts are to be built near Coleshill creating new public spaces, footpaths and cycleways which will be created so that local people can enjoy their local heritage.
Natural wildlife habitats will be created with access to water making it ideal for fishing and scenic river walks. The viaduct has been designed to create space to give a nature led realignment of the river.
A reduction in the height of the western viaduct from 10m to 4m will mean a 36% reduction in materials being used which has a knock-on effect of giving a 26% reduction in the viaducts carbon footprint.
Woodland will be planted on embankments around Coleshill Manor north of the viaducts, the planting has been designed to complement existing plant life. The design of the parkland landscape has been inspired by Coleshill Manor, keeping the site relevant historically as well as ecologically.
Further North is Chattle Hill close to the Water Orton viaducts where a ‘blossom walk’ is planned which will connect to a new community orchard and allotments with fruit trees being planted and also herbs for foraging.
HS2’s Head of Landscape Design, Christoph Brintrup, said: “HS2’s enhancements to the integrated design of the viaducts and landscape in this area have made the most of the rich local history and biodiversity, creating the opportunity for fantastic new spaces for people and wildlife to enjoy. Our multi-functional design will enhance biodiversity, provide an inclusive, healthy and accessible landscape, and also help stitch the Delta Junction into its surrounding context.
“Our design and construction approaches aim to achieve HS2’s wider environmental commitments to reduce our carbon footprint. Most of the steel used to construct the viaducts will come from recycled sources, and we’re also pleased that design improvements have resulted in a big reduction in materials used to construct the viaducts.”
Nick McGough, BBV Design Joint Venture Lead Architect said: “This is currently a complex area, with existing motorways and railway infrastructure isolating the site. Our design vision will use the Delta Junction as a catalyst to integrate HS2 into the landscape by creating a harmonic relationship with the railway, the site and wider landscape through local connectivity, habitat creation and biodiversity, landscape integration and flood risk mitigation.
“Close collaboration between multiple teams has been essential in developing designs, including the involvement of Ecologists, Landscape Architects, Engineers and Architects among others. This has resulted in developing the River Cole Viaducts so they sit lower in the landscape, utilising a weathering steel deck with longer spans and sculpting the piers to remove over 33% of the material from previous designs.
“In the past the river had been used for pleasure boating by the Edwardians. The arrival of HS2 means the area will once again promote travel across this landscape including the installation of new footpaths and cycle ways for local people to use.”
You can have your say on the designs during events on the 6th and 8th July – more information can be found on HS2’s website.
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