Homes England: the national housing and regeneration agency for England. Homes England is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.


Node were approached by Homes England to undertake a masterplan for a unique and complex brownfield site in Smethwick, in the Black Country. The very narrow site occupied land between the main line Birmingham to Wolverhampton canal and the engine arm branch line. 

The site has a highly significant history, with the engine arm aqueduct a scheduled monument and grade II* listed building built by Thomas Telford in 1828. A bespoke approach was required to ensure that the opportunity presented by the site was maximised in a manner that respected this important heritage asset.


Our masterplan drew on best practice waterfront development from around the world, creating formal building forms with strong levels of enclosure that reference the site’s industrial history and overlook both canal arms.

Areas of public realm were provided, including formal squares and semi-private parking courts. An area of public open space was provided at the western end of the site, adjacent to the scheduled monument and grade II* listed Engine Arm Aqueduct. Our proposals were used to enable Homes England to develop a viability appraisal for the site.