The development of well designed places alongside our rivers, canals and docks can make a significant contribution to the success of the waterways and their ability to deliver more active, socially engaged and healthy places.

Members of the public watching The Floating Cinema at Kings Cross The Floating Cinema at Kings Cross

Good design and the incorporation of measures and policies to promote the use of our waterside spaces can help local communities engage positively with our waterways. This can allow them to become popular places to visit, relax and exercise.

You can find our suggested guiding principles on our creating successful waterside places page.

Example 1 - Wakefield Metropolitan District Development Policies Plan (adopted 2009)

Policy D11 is specifically on waterfront design: "Development adjacent to the River Aire, River Calder, the district's canals and other bodies of water shall be orientated to face the watercourse or water body and must be designed to enhance the water's edge and biodiversity. The council will require that public access and recreational opportunities are provided where compatible with the proposed development and the capacity of the site to accommodate them. In particular development along rivers and canals shall:

  • enhance the architectural quality and character of the waterway
  • improve the visual and physical relationship between the development site, the waterway and any adjoining public areas
  • improve access along and across the river or canal corridor where appropriate
  • be orientated and designed to promote surveillance of the river or canal frontage
  • enhance the public amenity value of the waterway
  • enhance important views outward from the river or canal corridor
  • enhance recreational opportunities of the waterway, where appropriate"

Example 2 - Braunston Neighbourhood Plan (adopted 2017)

Policy J relates to the canals and their setting. "The canals and their setting need to be protected from inappropriate development owing to their economic, social and environmental contribution to the area. Proposals for development in appropriate locations of Character Area 1 will be supported providing that they:

  • respect the unique character of the canal through innovative and sensitive design
  • use appropriate designs and materials for works and repairs to historical canal structures
  • provide external spaces which allow visual and physical access that encourage links to Braunston village
  • protect and manage the function of the canal as a wildlife corridor by resisting proposals which destroy or adversely affect areas of ecological interest
  • protect existing hedgerows and trees and introduce soft landscape works to retain the canal as a green waterway
  • use canal side furniture which is in-keeping with the setting but robust
  • encourage a positive relationship between the canal and surrounding land to provide high quality and appropriate boundary treatment
  • provide, and if necessary upgrade, pedestrian access to maintain the role of the canal as a green pedestrian link
  • promote understanding of the canal heritage including the provision of signage
  • interpretation and public art

The boundary of Character Area 1 is shown on Map 10".

Last date edited: 19 November 2020