7th June 2023Notthingham Community

#TIQandYou – Biodiversity and sustainability


As part of The Island Quarter’s commitment to echo and represent the communities that will enjoy it in the future, the design team is holding a series of engagement sessions to gather ideas, opinions and insights that will inform its work going forward.

Led by John Morgan of masterplanner Leonard Design Architects and David Jones of planning consultant Axis PED, the sessions touch on a broad range of topics and issues and feed into The Island Quarter’s wider development strategy.

In the third of our #TIQandYOU series, we look at the sessions that covered the developer’s ongoing commitment to sustainability, and the biodiversity of The Island Quarter.

“When choosing plants, consider those that represent the diversity and culture of local community groups and ingredients used in cultural cooking. Put a call out for seeds from local community groups that want specific plants which represent culture and heritage.”  
“Create outdoor meeting spaces with natural covers and shade with the trees try and take planting from outside to inside the office space. Ensure office terraces feel connected to the planting. ”  
“Having dense trees and shade is good in areas of the city to keep temperatures down and allow people have different spaces in the city.”  

When taking on a site the size of what is now known as The Island Quarter, careful consideration has to be given to not just the mix of building typologies, but how they be built and operated sustainably.

Alongside this, major developments need to stand alone as places that people actually want to visit, rather than soulless concrete jungles.

As a developer, we’ve looked long and hard at the masterplan for The Island Quarter, which is “evolving” in the truest sense of the word. From our initial designs when we purchased the site back in 2016 to the most recent update to the masterplan in May 2023, how The Island Quarter looks and feels has evolved.

The newest iteration has added nearly 50% more green space and grassland areas than the masterplan that gained outline planning consent in 2019, which has been a reaction not just to changing habits post-pandemic, but to the growing need for biodiversity.

The benefits of this are two-fold. Not only are we designing a development that has environmental credentials that will stand the test of time, but we’re also using that greenery to create a sense of place that draws people to not just visit The Island Quarter, but want to come back year-on-year.

In response to our engagement sessions, we will be looking at the range of planting across the site to reflect the diversity and culture of The Island Quarter and its surrounding areas. This will be in addition to our planting plans for the recently approved biosciences buildings which include rainwater gardens, medicinal planting and ecology-focused streetscapes.

This overall approach feeds into the comprehensive sustainability strategy we have implemented across The Island Quarter – this is something which we want to have baked into our plans for every phase of the development, and our plans are heavily geared towards supporting Nottingham’s aspirations to become carbon net zero by 2028.

Whether it’s through our rooftop gardens and sustainably sourced construction materials, or our regeneration of the heritage warehouses that will epitomise the circular economy, we hold a strong commitment to The Island Quarter being an example of biodiversity and sustainability that stands proudly in comparison to other developments of similar scale.