Newport Harbour

Ash Sakula was appointed by the Isle of Wight Council to develop a masterplanning framework for Newport Harbour, in the dead centre of the island, at the most southerly navigable point of the Medina Estuary.

For most of Newport’s history it was the economic gateway to the town and the focus of the town’s trade. Today it is a shadow of its former self, in slow decline since the development of the island’s rail and road networks.

Today, the harbour area is a somewhat sleepy and peripheral annexe to the town centre, cut off from the town by an elevated road viaduct. Activity is limited to small pockets of maritime use, a few boats, some residential streets, allotments, a hotel, a co-working hub, a couple of pubs, an arts centre and a day care centre. However, there are some good old buildings with which to anchor future regeneration, and a number of economic growth points which could underpin development.

Our task was to propose an evidence-based, people-centred spatial masterplan, We undertook a thorough analysis to identify opportunities to densify and maximise the land use, open it up to new visitors and create new homes. Tidal patterns, land ownership, site connectivity, economic activity, flood risk, the town’s existing development strategies and the possibility of new river crossings all came within the scope of the study.

We developed three options, low, medium and high, for development, all of which envisaged an incremental regeneration approach starting with interim uses to build interest and confidence in the area.

Client: Isle of Wight Council

Collaborators: Imagine Places, Civic Engineers, P3r, Inner Circle, 31 Ten.

Appointment: March 2017