We are hitting the headlines!
The team at HK Architecture are delighted to be helping two Derbyshire wakeboard enthusiasts achieve their dream of opening a premier watersports centre at Long Eaton, a story which was featured on radio, TV and in newspapers across Derbyshire, Mansfield and Nottingham recently.
Katie and Richard Hill, from Mansfield, are riding the crest of a wave after winning permission to transform the site created from flooded gravel pits.
The Hills bought the 133-acre former Trent Meadow gravel pit site three years ago.
They dreamed of transforming it from a declining green space now attracting fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour into Spring Lakes Watersports Club, a centre of excellence where they could teach their sport to future generations of enthusiasts and create a family-friendly destination with a variety of activities on the water.
On January 23 Team HKA were with the Hills at the decisive meeting of Erewash Borough Council’s Planning Committee to witness its members unanimously give the scheme the green light.
“We were incredibly proud to hear the councillors’ words of praise for our designs for the watersports hub, on which we worked long and hard to ensure a sensitive interaction with the landscape,” said Alistair Haxton, MD of Chesterfield-based HK Architecture.
“There will be a timber eco-clubhouse, classrooms and cafe, and a stunning viewing platform overlooking the lake.
“This development will be a place for locals to feel proud of. It will turn a green space falling into decline into an outdoor destination which brings nature and carefully-planned family facilities and activities together in a harmonious way.”
Work on the multi-million pound project, which will create at least 12 jobs and boost the local economy, can now begin, in line with a number of conditions set by planners.
The site was used for sand and gravel extraction from the 1960s and was left an eyesore when operations ceased. In the 1990s an upgrading scheme saw the gravel pits flooded to create three lakes and the area became popular with dog-walkers. Lack of maintenance has since seen the area decline.
“We are delighted to have gained approval and very positive comments from the committee about what an exciting and welcome project it is. Our plans will make the area even more attractive and accessible for local people,” said Richard Hill, 39, an avid wakeboarder and the chairman of Church Wilne Water Sports Club in Derbyshire.
“In a peaceful setting, visitors will be able to enjoy canoeing, paddle-boarding, open-water swimming and fishing. We hope to eventually provide rowing boats, pedalos, scuba-diving equipment, raft-building classes and inflatables.”
Richard and his wife Katie work with the British Disabled Waterski and Wakeboard Association and also want to develop water sports for people with disabilities and special needs at Spring Lakes.
HK Architecture worked closely with Charlotte Stainton, Chartered Planning Consultant at Stainton Planning, the agent working on behalf of the developer.
“Stainton Planning is very proud to be involved in this exciting and truly unique project. It will be an asset to Long Eaton and draw visitors from across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire,” Charlotte commented.
“We will be complying with all conditions imposed by council planners, including sympathetic landscaping, enhancing the local ecology and public footpaths and cycleways to make them attractive and safer to use, and ensuring flood risk and ground conditions are dealt with appropriately.”