Bulbourne Yard is a largely redundant Canal & River Trust (formerly British Waterways) operational site on the Grand Union Canal, a short distance to the south of the branching off point of the Wendover Arm at Bulbourne Junction.
The site has a long history as a canal maintenance yard, and was used until recent years by British Waterways as one of the primary bases for the repair and construction of canal lock gates and paddle gear. In recent years CRT has concentrated its lock gate construction and repair operations elsewhere, and Bulbourne Yard has therefore become obsolete.
There are four Grade 2 listed canal workshops on the site. Existing buildings with heritage value will all be retained and renovated to a high standard. A row of five new residential buildings will be placed on the back of the site as well as an upward extension of the workshops adjacent to the bridge, to provide a row of three cottages along the roadside. The total development will consist of 21 x 2-3-4 bedroom units plus the 4 bedroom canal house and 3 x 2-3 bed cottages totaling 25 residential units. Most of the car parking is designed in an undercroft car park below the new houses. This prevents the scattering of cars around the buildings reducing the visual impact and retaining the openness of the setting.
The appearance and the character of the existing buildings will be retained and enhanced by the removal of modern extensions. The listed buildings will have mezzanine floors and cross walls added to create small terraces of split level houses. The new first floors have been intricately designed to retain the listed roof trusses. New buildings are generally of a simple style to not compete or replicate the listed structures. At the same time, they will echo the designs in a modern manner using glass, brick walls and pitched, slated roofs with roof lights. We designed a new arched steel footbridge for the site to allow safe pedestrian access beside the narrow road bridge. It is considered that the unique character of Bulbourne yard will attract a high level of interest from young professionals and retired, canal using residents and that a high quality of design and spaces will provide for this market.
Planning and Listed Building consent was achieved in 2017 with construction to commence in 2018.