Recently the IM Land team was in Lichfield talking to local people about our plans to deliver a new community ‘The Lakes at Curborough’ (Watery Lane). The scheme, which was consented in early 2017, will see 750 homes delivered alongside areas of open public space. This will be one of our flagship schemes and sets the tone for how IM Land approaches development.
We have talked about the need for properly planned communities, where infrastructure is a central component, not an afterthought. So, before detailed plans for the housing are bought forward on the site we’ve been talking to the community about the proposed new highways infrastructure that we will be delivering.
Building a proper community is also a lot more than just houses and roads. For us the open space is the glue that binds a development together and transforms it into a place that people aspire to live, such as The Lakes at Curborough’. A linear park will link the green space with informal play areas and sports pitches available for the whole community to enjoy.
You’ll also hear us talking about inclusive communities. So rather than creating an allotment that only a handful of people can enjoy we’re going to have a community garden so everyone with green fingers can come and grow together. When we talk about communities we mean it in the truest sense – that development will bring people together so they feel part of something.
Our role as a master developer is to bring forward high-quality, well-planned communities and to think about the legacy of a development. We are developing a Design Brief for ‘The Lakes’ which will set the tone for the community and enshrine quality throughout. Sustainability is also very important to us, with the site being in close proximity to Lichfield town centre so walking and cycling routes are key parts of our sustainable transport plan.
When it comes to the type of housing on the site the exact details will be determined by the housebuilders that bring forward the residential elements. However, we’ve already committed to over 30% of it being affordable housing. With many people struggling to get on the housing ladder we hope this makes a real difference locally, giving people real choice.
We expect to start construction work in 2019, which will bring plenty of benefits to the local economy. We’ve always had high ambitions in everything we do but we want this to be an example of a sustainable community that everyone can be proud of. So, watch this space.