Savage & Chadwick Architects and planning consultancy Steven Abbott Associates LLP have secured planning consent on behalf of English Lakes Hotels for a new 600-capacity convention centre on the shore of Windermere at the Low Wood Bay Hotel.
The centre will be developed on land to the west of the A591 on the site of the existing Low Wood Bay Watersports Centre. The development will achieve one of the aspirations set out in the Lake District National Park Authority's Core Strategy Windermere Waterfront Programme and will bring to the Lake District a major convention centre for exhibitions, concerts, weddings, dinners, conferences and business meetings.
Phil Chadwick, director of Savage & Chadwick said: "The site is significant as one of the few remaining sites to be developed on the edge of the lake. It required a response in design terms that both recognised its sensitivity and equally looked to the future with a bold statement. The whole composition included indigenous materials such as Lakeland stone, smooth render and glazing in a contemporary manner. The design was developed to have a horizontal form to maintain scale in its setting and a level of transparency to maximise views to the Langdales with the feature glazing reflecting its surroundings. Biodiversity and sustainability were also high on the agenda for its design and the building includes living walls, sedum roof and alternative technologies to reduce its carbon footprint. The building will be an iconic statement on the Lake and for the hotel group."
Brian Barden, consultant at Steven Abbott Associates, said: "English Lakes Hotels have long aspired to provide a first-rate convention centre on part of the land currently occupied by the Low Wood Watersports Centre. The need for such a facility has been recognised in a number of economic reports and in the Lake District National Park Authority's Core Strategy but even so, given the sensitivity of the site, there were very many problems associated with nature conservation, landscape impact, design and traffic to be resolved. Despite a number of frustrations along the way, the cooperation of a team of appropriate experts with the Officers of the National Park Authority and their consultees, has led in the end to the approval of a first rate facility of an innovative and exciting design, which will greatly enhance this particular site and the facilities provided to assist the tourist business in this part of the Lake District."
The project team includes landscape architects and environmental planners, Woolerton Dodwell Associates, traffic engineering consultants, Turner Lowe Associates ecologists, rural and environmental chartered surveyors, Envirotech, and bat surveyor, Sally Phillips.