The Eternal Wall & Wave Park

Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer - CGI by Renderloft, Eternal Wall design by Snug Architects

Two unlikely neighbours have just been given planning permission to move into Coleshill, North Warwickshire next year: the UK’s most landlocked wave park and a new national landmark, known as the Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer. Both projects will occupy part of the Coleshill Manor Estate, which is currently a commercial park and agricultural land owned by IM Properties.

On the surface, the pairing may seem unconventional, but on closer inspection, their aims are not too dissimilar. The vision for the Eternal Wall is to make hope visible, attributing each of its million bricks to an answered prayer and creating the largest database of hope stories in the world. It will stand 51.5m tall, two and a half times bigger than the angel of the north and be visible from up to six miles away. On the other side of the fence, is a man-made surfing lagoon powered by the revolutionary Wavegarden Cove technology, and capable of producing two waves every 8 seconds up to 2 metres high. The wave park aims to bring a slice of the ocean to Birmingham by providing a world-class surf and leisure facility. Where the two projects align is through their ability to deliver positive social impact and supporting both mental and physical well-being.

Working for both projects TEP has provided ecology surveys for bat, otter, and water voles, produced a bird hazard management plan, biodiversity impact assessment, heritage desk analysis, geophysical surveys, archaeology trenching work, and a landscape visual assessment. We have also provided an arboricultural impact assessment looking at the amount and types of trees located on-site, an important consideration to any well-being experience. 

Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer - Tree Number Nine - CGI by Infinity Labs

The arboricultural assessments determined which trees might be impacted by the construction works based on their size, species and condition. Both project teams wanted to retain trees where possible to ensure an attractive mature setting to enhance the visitor experience. Our arboriculturists advised on layout and design protection measures to help preserve key trees and woodland. This included the provision of a woodland management plan for the belt of broadleaf woodland running down the eastern side of both sites, which will improve it over time through additions such as bird and bat boxes, additional planting and targeted thinning. 

Route from existing campus access road.

Access to the site is constrained by the adjacent M6 and M42. TEP’s environmentalists worked closely with the clients to plan a route from the existing campus access road that would avoid adverse effects on aquatic mammals, minimise tree loss through the woodland, and minimise visual impacts from Coleshill Manor. By understanding what is to be built, what the trees need and the construction process, our arboriculturists made a series of recommendations from the protective fencing and excavation, to the width, design of the kerbs, drainage and finished road levels. Putting appropriate safeguards in place to protect the trees for the next stage of development, and embedding opportunities for planting within the design, gave confidence to each client as well as the planning committees on this shared element of the design. 

Aboricultural Impact Assessment - Protection measures for tree number nine and existing trees.

Trees also play a large role in the Eternal Wall’s masterplan. The möbius strip style sculpture will be nestled away in a newly planted cocoon of trees, designed to provide a tranquil and contemplative space for its visitors. Moreover, there is one existing tree that will occupy centre stage more than others, tree number 9. This mature oak, which previously was part of a hedgerow, is to be given a new lease of life. The client wanted to preserve and celebrate this particular tree and incorporate it within the overall layout. Our arboriculturists had to assess whether this was possible, determine how to build the monument around it without damaging its integrity and how best to replace the hedgerows to maintain habitat links across the site for wildlife such as birds and bats.

Now that planning is approved and tree number 9 is firmly rooted in the plans, TEP is advising on discharging the planning conditions before the projects break ground.

For more news from our arboriculturists click here.

Main CGI by Renderloft, Eternal Wall design by Snug Architects