The team at Bondholder Planning and Design Practice Ltd has been awarded a Highly Commended Certificate for Excellence in Planning for Heritage & Culture.
The award was made at the recent RTPI East Midlands Awards for Planning Excellence 2019 for its work on the redevelopment of the ‘East Site’ at John Smedley Mills, Lea Bridge - the last working textile mill in the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site.
The ‘East Site’ was no longer needed for garment manufacture and development was needed to secure a beneficial future use for the land and buildings and to support the company’s development and expansion. The scheme included the renovation of three late 18th century Grade II Listed cottages which were in a very poor state of repair and on the “heritage at risk” register.
With initial discussions with John Smedley Ltd beginning in December 2015, the development is now well underway, with the site’s listed cottages having been fully restored by the summer of 2019. The redevelopment involved an innovative planning approach as it incorporated both conversion and new build and multiple heritage designations.
Jon Millhouse, Director of Planning and Design Practice Ltd who accepted the certificate said “We are genuinely thrilled with this recognition by the RTPI. Working within both a conservation area and a UNESCO World Heritage site brought numerous challenges in addition to those already inherent to the listed buildings at the John Smedley site.
“This is a great example of a successful partnership that has helped to ensure a sustainable and viable future for the oldest manufacturing factory in the world, creating opportunities for this unique historical site which will bear fruit long into the 21st century and beyond.”