Ryde Nicholson Road, Isle of Wight

In collaboration with Peter Brett Associates, RCKa’s proposal for the Ryde Nicholson Road Business Park expands capacity through an employment-led mixed-use development that facilitates growth with enabling infrastructure.

Our proposals seek to achieve the appropriate balance between providing a highly contextual vision for the site and responding flexibly to the diverse needs of new businesses. To achieve this the proposals are broken into three areas; a village square, rural business park and meadowland campus.

Generic Business Park models tend to result in individual plots defined by defensive space with tall fences to all sides and are focused on the protection of assets. By arranging buildings in a denser pattern with shared space between we can reduce infrastructure costs, improve inter-connectivity, activate the space between buildings, improve security through passive means, enhance wellbeing of staff and business performance. This is applied across the site, lining the key routes which culminate at the village square.

The village square contains a denser mix of complimentary uses to incubate new businesses and support those which are more established. Its mix of uses includes a doctors’ surgery, event space, enterprise hub, residential units and retail space, ensuring use throughout the day.

Our proposals are simple, cost-effective and work with the context; turning constraints into value enhancing opportunities. Business units and plots are sized and arranged for maximum flexibility to ensure the proposals are market-responsive.

The site connects to the existing business park to the north with new road connections and enhances the existing pedestrian routes through the site which connect to public transport links such as the Island Line railway and bus stops on Great Preston Road. Car ownership on the island is high and it was recognised that parking provision for the business park should respond to demand. Rather than apply the generic business park model of parking allocated per business within their own demise, our proposals locate the majority of parking along site edges to reduce costs, encourage more pedestrian activity and allow for a denser development. Each business will have space for drop-off, deliveries and disabled parking bays, and in some cases such as the meadowland campus, all vehicular movement is separated by the natural hedge threshold.

The development is phased such that value enhancing elements and infrastructure are delivered first and provision is made for alteration in later phases as the market dictates. The proposals address market realities and provide a catalyst for regeneration and employment through placemaking.

The rural character of the site, its west-facing bank, ancient hedgerows and views across the countryside are all valuable assets that the proposals seek to enhance. The rich rural character is of great value commercially and for the wellbeing of occupants. All new buildings are integrated into the landscape and are of a rural vernacular style to compliment the setting.

Collaborators: Peter Brett Associates, Kinnear Landscape Architects

Client: Isle of Wight Council

Location: Ryde, Isle of Wight