Investment News | 17 January 2024

Developer gets go-ahead for £22m residential scheme

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A developer has received the go-ahead to transform a historic mills site into a new £22 million residential scheme.

Revised plans submitted by Wavensmere Homes to build 69 homes at Milford Mills have been given the green light by Amber Valley Borough Council.

The site, which sits within the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located at Milford, between Belper and Duffield, and overlooks the River Derwent.

The scheme will feature 42 two- and three-bedroom houses, as well as 27 one- and two-bedroom apartments within a four-storey building.

The site will be further complemented by two acres of public open space and the recent restoration of the Grade II listed Dye House by Chevin Homes to form a 4,500 sq ft commercial premises.

James Dickens, managing director at Wavensmere Homes, said: “Milford is one of the most sought-after villages in north Derbyshire, with the area’s historical importance reflected in the UNESCO World Heritage status.

“We are pleased to have received the go-ahead to amend the extant plans and move forward with this important £22 million redevelopment project to provide much-needed quality new homes.”

Dating back to 1780, Milford Mills is a former cotton mill which housed some of the world’s first mechanised industrial spinning factories.

The project will see the retention and restoration of numerous historic features from the former cotton mill, including the Mill Lade that now feeds a hydroelectric power plant downstream, the wheel pit and tail race that historically connected the mill to the River Derwent, along with the repair of all original stone boundary walls.

Wavensmere Homes has already spent over £250,000 on archaeological investigations on site throughout 2023, while amending the original planning application to enable the 4.7-acre development to be gas free and fully compliant with new building regulations.

The houses will be installed with air source heat pumps, while the apartments will have electric heating, with solar PV panels fitted to the roof of the building to generate renewable energy.

James said: “During the planning process, we have already been approached by over 600 local people keen to secure a house or apartment here, with 21 having first refusal of their choice of plot.

“Milford Mills will have a clear focus on sustainability and renewable energy, while delivering natural stone facades that reflects the traditional architecture of this village and the nearby market town of Belper.

“Our team will now progress with pre-construction preparations, and we look forward to being able to start construction for the 69 riverside houses and apartments in the coming months.”

In recent years, Wavensmere Homes has become one of Derby’s most prominent residential developers.

It is currently delivering over 900 houses and apartments at the £175 million Nightingale Quarter scheme, which is being created on the site of the former Derbyshire Royal Infirmary.

Last year, the company submitted plans for the 11.5-acre historic Friar Gate Goods Yard in central Derby, which could be transformed into 276 houses and apartments, and over 110,000 sq ft of commercial space.

It also put forward plans for Cathedral One, a development featuring 186 apartments on vacant land in the Cathedral Quarter.

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