We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Creating successful waterside places

Design plays a key role in creating attractive waterside places that will enhance and protect the waterway.

In our capacity as a statutory consultee we strive to make sure any new waterside development seeks to enhance the wider waterway corridor and protects the intrinsic qualities that waterways offer. This can be achieved in a number of ways and is dependent on many factors.

Each waterside location needs to be considered individually, with no single design approach being appropriate in all locations. The following guiding principles should be taken into account so that, where appropriate, new waterside development should:

  • positively address the water
  • integrate the towing path and open up access to the water
  • link waterside space and the waterspace
  • use the waterspace itself
  • incorporate access and other improvements
  • engage with and tease out the qualities and benefits of being by water
  • reflect the scale of the local waterway corridor to the wider neighbourhood

These guiding principles are just a starting point in how we can work with others to ‘transform places and enrich lives’. They draw on the experience we have with our Property Development Team Joint Ventures; third party developers and in our role as statutory consultee, in championing sympathetic yet contemporary waterside development. Our video (coming soon) showcases how successful waterway neighbourhoods can be achieved. We would encourage potential developers to undertake pre-application discussions with us and to include any waterway, towpath and environs within their application site.

If you’re designing a bridge across our waterway take a look at our document on bridge design, which was developed as part of considering our response to HS2. It comes in two parts:

HS2 Design Principles for Waterway Crossings Report - part 1 2015
HS2 Design Principles for Waterway Crossings Report - part 2 2015

Also look at our towpath design guide Better Towpaths for Everyone.

Last date edited: 21 August 2017