The Foot Meadow is an important historic area of green space in the south west corner of Northampton town centre. It forms an island with tributaries of the River Nene running along its northern and southern flanks and major road and rail lines dissecting the site in the east and west respectively. Although the site has benefited from some investment in the last 10 years, the Northampton Central Area Action Plan recognises that the waterside in Northampton as a whole has not been ‘addressed in a positive manner’ over the last 100 years with the town turning its back on the river.
WNDC recognised that the creation of the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone and a programme of other major regeneration initiatives across the town presents a unique opportunity to secure improvements to the Foot Meadow and ensure that it becomes a more vibrant and active piece of green infrastructure.
Our role was to prepare a guidance document that could be applied alongside other statutory planning policies to inform future investment and improvements to the Foot Meadow and in so doing, reduce the revenue liability associated with managing the space. The work illustrated a two-phased approach to investment reflecting the anticipated availability of capital funds. Subtle interventions are suggested that improve biodiversity, linkages and connections with the town centre, improve interpretation of the history of the site and vitally, improve the visual attractiveness of the site.