Sunday, July 21, 2024

Wavensmere Homes eyes Midlands brownfield land

Wavensmere Homes is seeking brownfield development opportunities in excess of three acres within city centres and towns across the Midlands. The firm – which currently has 3,500 plots in production or planning – is gearing up to deliver 1,000 new homes per annum, in order to double turnover to circa £250m.

Established in 2015, the privately-owned housebuilder handed over the keys to 522 homes during 2023. The business and its associated SPVs are on track to achieve a £115m turnover during 2024. Construction is anticipated to commence on five new developments this year, which have a combined GDV of close to £350m.

James Dickens, Managing Director of Wavensmere Homes, 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.

“We would love to do more in Wolverhampton and across the Black Country, as we firmly believe the Birmingham ripple effect should be accelerating the regeneration of well-connected locations, such as Smethwick, Walsall and Dudley.

“In the East Midlands, we are keen to acquire our first sites in Leicester and Nottingham, as well as build upon our reputation in Derby. Our redevelopment of the former Derbyshire Royal Infirmary into the Nightingale Quarter is in the final phases, and we have the redevelopment of Friar Gate Goods Yard, Milford Mills near Belper, and Full Street in the Cathedral Quarter in our immediate pipeline.

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

Wavensmere Homes is currently constructing the £106m Belgrave Village development in central Birmingham and the £130m Barrelman’s Point scheme on the Shotley Peninsula in Suffolk.

The firm has become one of Derby’s most prominent residential developers, with its multi-award-winning £175m Nightingale Quarter. The former Florence Nightingale-designed hospital on London Road – which had laid derelict for a decade – comprises 925 houses, apartments, The Pepperpot restaurant, and a range of residents’ amenities.

Late last year, the firm received the green light from Amber Valley Borough Council for the £22m redevelopment of Milford Mills, which overlooks the River Derwent, located between Belper and Duffield in north Derbyshire. 69 new homes will be delivered on the historic site, which is within the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Wavensmere’s £75m Friar Gate Goods Yard redevelopment in Derby city centre received planning committee approval in April 2024. The 276 houses and apartments will be available for occupation from 2026.

The firm’s plans for the redevelopment of one of the final plots of vacant land within Derby’s newly revitalised Cathedral Quarter are currently being considered by Derby City Council. 195 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments are proposed for the Full Street site, within a u-shaped nine-storey red brick building.

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