Latest News | 9 July 2024

Major riverside apartments plan recommended for approval

Wavensmere Homes
Derby City Council
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Plans by Wavensmere Homes for a major apartments scheme next to the River Derwent are set to be considered by Derby City Council – with planning officers recommending approval.

Earlier this year, the housebuilder, along with Wilson Bowden Developments, put forward updated proposals for the Full Street scheme in response to stakeholder feedback.

They involve creating 195 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, within a finely detailed u-shaped nine-storey red brick building.

Now those plans are set to be considered by the city council’s planning control committee tomorrow.

Ahead of that meeting, planning officers have prepared a report in which they recommend the scheme be given the green light, subject to a Section 106 Agreement taking place between the developer and the city council.

The report states: “In the opinion of the local planning authority the scheme has the potential to secure a range of public benefits which would outweigh the ‘less than substantial harm’ to heritage and non-designated heritage assets including the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site and buffer zone, conservation areas and listed buildings.

“Once fully built and occupied, the households are estimated to generate additional spend of £5.1 million per annum in Derby.”

The development site was previously occupied by a police station, which was constructed in the 1960s and demolished in 2013.

Phase One of Wilson Bowden’s Full Street development was completed in 2016.

It included the refurbishment of Connect Derby’s Riverside Chambers office complex, delivery of 46 new apartments at Number One Cathedral Green, and a Premier Inn hotel.

The remaining parcel of land had been earmarked for an office development of up to 100,000 sq ft, but it is now being brought forward by Wavensmere Homes for the apartments scheme.

After concerns were raised about the height of the proposed development, Franklin Ellis Architects drew up revised plans, inspired by the traditional architecture and heritage assets within the vicinity.

The plans included a reduction in the height of the scheme.

In a letter of support for the scheme submitted to the city council’s planning department, John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, wrote: “Marketing Derby is delighted to see plans submitted to bring new homes onto this important site, which has laid vacant for too long.

“Wavensmere is a proven contributor to Derby’s regeneration, and we couldn’t think of a more appropriate developer for this sensitive riverside site.”

Speaking back in April, James Dickens, managing director at Wavensmere Homes, said: “This challenging brownfield site occupies one of the best locations within Derby city centre and benefits from rich views of the Cathedral Quarter and the River Derwent.

“It has been vacant for 10 years and the opportunity to create an exemplary development, reflective of the prime gateway location is exciting.

“By appropriately densifying this derelict brownfield site within such a prized and popular city location, we will create highly energy-efficient homes for well over 250 people who will then spend their time and disposable income locally.”

This week, Wavensmere Homes also revealed it is seeking brownfield development opportunities in excess of three acres within city centres and towns across the Midlands as it gears up to deliver 1,000 new homes per annum, in order to double turnover to circa £250 million.

James said: “Land assembly, planning and pre-construction work can take several years.

“The new administration in No.10 has big ambitions to speed up the process, which we welcome and support, but changes will take time to implement at a local level.

“We couldn’t be prouder of our pipeline of major residential-led sites, but we need to acquire more development land before this year is out.

“The area we have intrinsic knowledge of is the East and West Midlands. It’s where our executive and management team live, where the majority of our core supply chain partners are based, and where we have an existing track record and established working relationships with local authorities.

“Complex, ‘dirty’ land, with historic assets is our sweet spot. We are keen to hear from landowners and agents with new opportunities.”

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