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Visitor centre and new homes plan for marina; Retirement apartments, affordable homes and better visitor facilities proposed for Trinity Marina.

Byline: Karen Hambridge

Ambitious proposals to transform Hinckley's Trinity Marina could bring a boost to the borough's tourism aspirations.

Plans for the canal side site off Coventry Road feature a revamped main office, visitor centre, gift shop/convenience store and cafe together with improved toilet and shower facilities for boaters.

Underpinning the impressive revamp is the creation of a retirement living complex comprising 72 apartments, as well as 18 other homes offered on an affordable basis.

Landscaped grounds and play area complete the blueprint for the 2.28 hectare site.

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In a supporting brief accompanying the submitted outline planning application, agent Caroline Chave of Chave Planning said: "The application site relates to a long-established, family owned marina. Over time, parcels of land around the marina have been developed for hotel accommodation and a pub/restaurant.

"However the current proposals are intended to bring about the comprehensive enhancement of the marina as a new waterside living environment and improved tourist destination.

"The development would comprise a complex of 72 retirement living apartments, each with two bedrooms. This is considered an ideal location for such a development, given the pleasant waterside environment and wealth of day-to-day and recreational amenities easily accessible by foot or by bus.

"The ground floor of one of the apartment blocks would be occupied by new marina facilities, including toilet and shower facilities, a cafe, convenience shop and ancillary offices and storage. "This would replace the facilities in the existing marina shop/office building, which would be converted to a visitor centre to include boat hire and gift shop.

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"The proposals would also include 18 affordable dwellings comprising a mix of nine two bedroom flats, five two bedroom houses and four three bedroom houses. The affordable housing would form 20% of the overall development.

Enhancements are planned along the canal frontage together with a play area adjacent the marina.

If approved by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council the project is expected to take two to three years to complete, with at least 135 construction jobs created during this time.

Once operational, the improved and expanded marina facilities and visitor centre is likely to generate positions for around 10 full-time equivalent staff.

The agent said as well as delivering a New Homes Bonus payment of around [pounds sterling]1.3 million over six years the scheme would result in enhanced facilities for culture and tourism, and it was considered the loss of a small amount of grassland to residential development, was far outweighed by these positives.

Furthering supporting documents talk about enhanced canal walks, a new bridge improving connectivity across the site and into the town centre and generally greater opportunities for walking and cycling.

The report affirms: "The proposed scheme will provide the marina with new and enhanced services which will be able to cater for a wider clientele and attract more tourists.

"It will provide quality amenity space for tourism by activating green amenity areas around the marina which includes a children's play area, ultimately creating the possibilities for events and small boat festivals, culminating at the Brewer's Fayre Marina pub, thus impacting positively to tourism economy for the local area."

According to the agents the current marina facility can no longer operate in a viable manner and all attempts of diversification have been exhausted.

As well as retail units - mainly associated with motoring - the Wharf Farm site, of which Trinity Marina is part, also includes the Brewers Fayre Marina pub and the Premier Inn hotel.

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Trinity Marina and Tugsten Park from the skies. Picture: Kevan Kirby
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Publication:Hinckley Times (Hinckley, Leicestershire, England)
Date:Mar 9, 2018
Words:607
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