Thursday, August 11, 2016

News: Hargreaves eyeing development at Maltby

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Hargreaves Services, the owner of the mothballed colliery at Maltby in Rotherham, is contemplating how to create value by redeveloping part of the site.

Rothbiz has previously reported on new plans being developed for the restoration of the pit site. The 500 acre colliery was mined for over 100 years until geological conditions could not be overcome and underground operations ceased in 2013.

It had been expected to continue coal production until 2025 but the winding tower was brought down in 2014 and the mine shafts have been filled and capped. With the sudden closure, the future restoration scheme, included in the planning permission for the mine's operation, is being re-examined.

In its latest financial results, Hargreaves outlines how it is now looking at its land portfolio and assessing what development can be brought forward.

The group states: "As a legacy of our coal operations we have a diversified 18,500 acre portfolio of property, which includes a range of agricultural and development land including a number of sites with grid connections. We have built a team to focus on the development of value in that portfolio with a view to optimising the conversion of these assets into cash over the next five to seven years and have set ourselves the target of creating between £35m and £50m of value over and above the £24.9m book value of these assets. The initial focus will be on developing value and realising cash from the assets we currently own.

"We have been working on this portfolio over the last two years and we are confident that there is very significant value that will be delivered. We will continue to challenge the allocation of capital but we are confident that the returns from development more than justify the cost of holding these sites and taking them through at least the early stages of the development cycle."

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The report includes a list of some of the key development sites that "present the greatest immediate opportunity for value creation through development." The list includes 84 acres at Maltby which has been identified for a potential mixed residential and industrial development.

The Reclamation Scheme is propopsed to be carried out over a six year and six month period, with cut and fill operations, the import of 1.32 million tonnes of suitable fill material and 150,000 tonnes of soil making materials and restoration of the former colliery tip to beneficial after-uses, including amenity grassland, agriculture, public access and nature conservation enhancement.

The site sits within the borough's Green Belt and the majority of the Maltby site is being put forward through the Local Plan as remaining in the green belt with a pocket of development, which includes the pit yard, associated buildings and access, not considered suitable for a business park with offices or industrial units but instead used for "for waste and energy activities."

The former colliery pit yard is set to be retained for another five years following restoration. The immediate future of the site is as Maltby Energy Park, with operator Alkane Energy generating energy from the coal mine methane assets for an estimated period of up to 15 years.

Hargreaves reported that revenues for the year to May 31 2016, fell 48.6% to £340.7m, with an 89.3% drop in underlying profits to £4.6m.

Hargreaves Services website

Images: Hargreaves


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