Wednesday, August 27, 2014

News: Waverley masterplan set for approval

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The planning board at Rotherham Council are being recommended to approve changes to the masterplan for the £100m Waverley development.

Approved in 2010, the largest, most complex, planning application ever considered by Rotherham Council gave outline approval for South Yorkshire's largest ever brownfield development, creating a new 3,890 home community across 741 acres. The development is also set to have a hotel and wide range of shops, cafés, health, leisure and educational facilities.

Now, developer and land owner, Harworth Estates, the company created to realise the property assets of what was UK Coal, has applied to vary a number of conditions of a follow up application, approved in 2013, to allow development to continue on the site.

Housebuilding began in 2012 on the first of four planned phases in character areas called Highfield Spring and Highfield Place, across from the expanding Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP). The new plans centre around the next character area, now known as Waverley Central, where approximately 600 dwellings will be built. This development would be located in the central part of the site, adjacent to Highfield Spring.

Harworth Estates has recently sold the second allocation of development land to Taylor Wimpey, Harron Homes and Barratt Homes for further house building. The 500th home at Waverley is expected to be built by the end of 2014.

The development that has come forward to date has been notably different to that which was expressed in the original masterplan and the opportunity has been taken to submit an application for a number of changes.

Updating key urban design and spatial design principles is expected to guide future development on the site without altering the fundamental outputs of the approved scheme.

One of the main changes is the proposed housing density in the central area, which is set to be reduced from 55 to 45 dwellings per hectare. The phase of housing currently under construction, mainly two to five bedroom new houses, is around 35 dwellings per hectare. Whilst it is acknowledged that the density has been reduced, planners believe that it is not "considered that it will be detrimental to the new community as a whole or deviate from the wider vision for the development as a whole."

Amendments to housing density and phasing also mean that changes are proposed to the conditions imposed on the original application relating to financing transport schemes, schools and green space.

The planner's report concluded that the new plans clarify the changes proposed to the next phase of development and explain how it ties in with the wider new community scheme. "On this basis the replacement of the design and access statement with the Framework Document is considered to be acceptable as it does not amend the fundamental outputs of the approved development."

Harworth Estates, which itself is based in offices on the Waverley development, has also recently secured planning permission for housing at two more of its sites - Measham, Leicestershire and Pontefract, West Yorkshire.

Tim Love, director of Harworth Estates' Strategic Land division, said: "We've enjoyed a huge amount of success working closely with housebuilders and local authorities to achieve planning consents that provide regeneration benefits for local communities.

"Housing is in short supply in the UK. By helping to bring forward land for high-quality new homes, we're continuing to support efforts to rebalance the UK economy whilst providing great places for people to live."

Waverley website

Images: Harworth Estates

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