Houlton, Rugby - Key Phase 1

Houlton is the new large-scale strategic redevelopment of the former ‘Radio Station Rugby’ site. The first phase of this joint venture between Urban&Civic and Aviva Investors has been brought forward with a landscape budget of £1.5 million.

With landscape so integral to Houlton’s past, present and future, we’re on a 20-year journey with them to realise a shared vision: To create a landscape designed for life, with biodiversity at its core.

The primary objective for the landscape in KP1 was to set the tone for the entire Houlton development, acting as an exciting taster for what’s to come.

As part of the core project team we were integral in the design of KP1 and subsequent reserved matters applications. As lead landscape architects for Houlton, this included the detailed design and implementation of the first of three primary schools.

Underpinning our vision for Houlton’s landscape were three pillars that informed and shaped our design:
1. CELEBRATION (C) of Houlton’s local history and surrounding area
2. RETENTION (R) of inherited assets
3. INTEGRATION (I) of nature and communities

We retained existing orchard trees wherever possible and worked with Hillier Nurseries to source and plant salvaged stock from derelict UK orchards.

Our design centres around a large network of inclusive and accessible wildlife corridors designed to encourage families to walk or cycle.

Our design work references and retains the historic ridge and furrow landscape found across much of the site and has reintroduced the Wyken Pippin – a rare and local Warwickshire variety. We also designed and procured bespoke street furniture for the site in partnership with a local carpenter.

The residents of KP1 have already formed a thriving community, despite being pioneers on an active development site – with landscape as the catalyst for daily activity.

Through the design of the landscape, we’ve helped Urban&Civic create an instant village feel, that influenced the ‘Come home to Houlton’ marketing and helps to sell the lifestyle.

Materials have been selected to provide quality, simplicity and durability and with a sustainable and reliable supply chain. Selection of native and local species and integration with sustainable methods of water management also ensure that the landscape will adapt as it matures.

As well as extensive community consultation, we developed and implemented the wayfinding strategy for Houlton including a series of hand-drawn sketches and fun facts to bring biodiversity to life.

Working alongside Ecology Solutions, we developed a ‘Nature Recovery Network’, protecting and designing the landscape around the incumbent population of Great Crested Newts.

Consisting of over 14 hectares of wildflower meadow, KP1 is a haven for bees, other pollinators and wildlife.

Coupled with the new community hub at Dollman Farm, our unique approach to play acts as a major draw for families and potential home buyers; unlocking value for Urban&Civic and housebuilders from day one.

We’ve also innovated through arboriculture. Our determination to not only save but enhance Houlton’s orchards resulted in a detailed process of research into the native tree species of Warwickshire and the use of historic, ‘wild-wood’ species.

KP1 at Houlton is the culmination of over 5 years of collaborative working; bringing together like-minded professionals to create a development that not only meets but significantly exceeds the needs of residents – all whilst protecting and enhancing the natural environment.


  • Project Name

    Houlton, Rugby - Key Phase 1

  • Location

    Houlton, Rugby, Warwickshire

  • Category

    Masterplanning and urban design

  • Landscape Architect

    Bradley Murphy Design Limited (BMD)

  • Client


  • Brief

    Key Phase 1 comprises all structural infrastructure required to service the initial development parcels located at the secondary entrance to Houlton, Rugby. The scheme includes the design and delivery of highways, drainage, landscape, and public realm. The Landscape Architect will need to work with the Project Engineers and Planning / Urban Design Consultants to develop the design to the level that it will form the basis for a detailed planning application. The start point for this will be the principles from the Outline Planning Application together with the Regulatory Plan defined in the Design Code. As the design develops there will be a need to interface with the work on the Design Code to ensure that the details being specified are consistent with the guidance being developed for the Key Phase 1 area. In particular, the Landscape Architect will be required to carry out the following to support the planning application: - Evolution of infrastructure & structural landscape design - Prepare hard and soft landscape layout and planting plans, specifications and management plans - Input to the Design & Access Statement as required to include the narrative behind the design and appropriate illustrations / visualisations.

  • Awards

    Finalist, Landscape Institute Awards 2019


  • Project Team

    Landscape architects: Bradley Murphy Design (BMD) Client: Urban&Civic Masterplanners: JTP Planning Consultants: David Lock Associates Ecologists: Ecology Solutions Civils and Highway Engineers: Aecom

  • Local planning authority or government body

    Rugby Borough Council

  • Year Completed


  • Project Size

    52 ha

  • Capital Funding

    Landscaping budget: £1.5 million

  • Bradley Murphy Design Limited (BMD)

    Registered Practice - (21 + Employees)
  • Approximate Map Location


    Houlton, Rugby, Warwickshire

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