Case Study:

Eastern Avenue


Services Used:

  • Industrial



Client overview:

We have enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Hortons’ Estate, working closely with the independent, Birmingham-based property company on a range of significant projects.

Well-known for its substantial investment and development portfolio, the business works with office, industrial, retail and leisure properties throughout the Midlands, building a strong reputation for its involvement with landmark buildings.

Boasting a portfolio that amounts to two million sq ft of premises, the Eastern Avenue project was another opportunity for us to demonstrate our industrial expertise and further strengthen our relationship with Hortons’ Estate.

Project Overview

  • Contemporary, bespoke self-storage facility at Eastern Avenue, Lichfield for personal and business use incorporating sustainable technology systems
  • Secure compound and parking with 24-hour access for a range of vehicle types
  • Full redevelopment of a former industrial site and in keeping with regeneration projects in the surrounding area

The Project

Historically used as a factory, most recently for clothing manufacturer Naturana, the application site was purchased by Hortons’ Estate in June 2017.

Located on Trent Valley Industrial Estate, Eastern Avenue, Lichfield, the building was demolished in July 2017, with a view to erect a modern storage facility at the site.

Complete with associated parking, landscaping and services for future office accommodation, Hortons’ Estate engaged Align Architecture for support with securing the required planning permission, before delivering a solution that would utilise the existing vehicular access on the south western perimeter of the site.

A total of 28 car parking spaces were to be made available on the site, with the layout also including provision for cycle storage.

Drawing on the experience and expertise of Align’s Chartered RIBA Architects, Hortons’ Estate required a building that could be used as a storage facility, accessible to customers on a 24-hour basis.

The proposals also included enhancement of existing landscaping at the front of the site.

The Design

While committed to providing the applicant with a secure new development that could be used as a storage facility, it was crucial that the contemporary bespoke design solution was in harmony with the wider estate development works and the constraints of a heavily sloping site.

The facility was created with space for associated ancillary offices and the potential for additional mezzanine floor levels alongside appropriate external areas for loading and storage.

To ensure the building had 24-hours access, a code entry system was fitted allowing customers entry through the secure, gated compound at the rear of the site.

With sustainable considerations in mind, the facility has made use of solar technology to assist with the daily operations of the building and incorporates car charging points for electric cars.

Setting the premises back from the pavement has provided enough space for new landscaped banks, trees and soft planting with pedestrian zones and parking opportunities.

Using only high-quality materials and finishes, the appearance of the facility reflects the importance of its location, using varying tones of grey to match the theme of the neighbouring buildings.

Like with all our projects, modern construction methods were used to enhance the site’s appearance, while ensuring the development had minimal impact on the environment and its resources. These considerations have achieved a BREEAM Very Good Rating (previously excellent under this category) and is in line with Lichfield District Council’s policy for new buildings.

The Outcome

This project reinvented the old factory site, delivering a modern storage facility that was a great addition to the established industrial area more commonly known as Eastern Avenue Employment Area.

Making greater use of the available space, the new premises gives future occupants an opportunity to add additional elements and customise the space to meet their own unique requirements.

Secure, stylish and built for purpose, the storage facility and office spaces have been constructed in a way that adds value to the surrounding area, with easy 24-hour access for vehicles entering or leaving the compound.

The outcome has transformed a disused but ideally located site into a modern industrial facility that can be used by clients from a range of sectors.

"Align successfully delivered a modern industrial storage facility that has contributed to the commercial locality of the site, while complimenting the surrounding buildings. With the support of architects like Align, we believe projects of this quality are worth the investment as they prioritise the needs and requirements of the building’s future occupants."

James Slater, Principal Building Surveyor, Hortons' Estate

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