Wednesday, November 8, 2017

News: £11m Waverley land deals

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Regional housebuilders have signed up to buy 13.87 acres for the next phase of residential development at the Waverley development in Rotherham.

The site is Yorkshire's largest brownfield redevelopment, with owner and developer, Harworth Group plc delivering a new community of 3,890 homes.

The deals, worth a total of £11m, are with Avant Homes and a new company, Sky House. Harworth said that the price reflects an increasing average price per acre realised at Waverley.

Avant, the housebuilder formerly known as Gladedale Group, will build 220 three and four bedroom family homes on 12.81 net acres of land it has purchased. The deal follows its acquisition in February of 4.7 net acres where the housebuilder is already constructing 61 three and four bedroom homes, reflecting the strong demand for this type of product at the development.

Contracts have also been exchanged with Sky House Company (Waverley) Limited, for 1.06 net acres of land. Sky House, a fast-growing "compact" urban housebuilder based in Sheffield, will be developing Waverley's first starter homes aimed at first time buyers, comprising 40 two-bedroom units and four, four-bedroom family homes. Recently receiving planning permission, it will be employing its unique Sky-House concept - a re-imagining of Victorian "back-to-back" terraced homes for modern day living (pictured).

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700 homes have been built to date on the site of what was the Orgreave coking works, alongside 1m sq ft of employment space at the Advanced Manufacturing Park. The deals with Avant and Sky House follow the residential land sale of 8.17 net acres to national housebuilder Taylor Wimpey, for the delivery of 130 new homes, in June 2017.

Owen Michaelson, chief executive of Harworth, said: "These transactions provide further evidence of the momentum at Waverley, which is seeing it mature into one of the North of England’s most desirable mixed-use developments.

"Avant Homes' decision to purchase a second land parcel from us at Waverley proves both the strength of Waverley as a location, their confidence in our ability to deliver sites ready for development and the popularity of their product locally. In addition, Sky House's decision to develop innovative starter properties marks an exciting new phase that will add further vibrancy and density to Waverley, whilst also reflecting our desire for the development to offer a broad range of home types aimed at different parts of the market.

"Both deals also demonstrate the underlying strength of the residential market in the North of England, driven by comparatively low prices and a continued lack of housing land supply to meet the needs of a growing population. Harworth is uniquely placed to benefit from this, leveraging our market-leading masterplanning expertise."

As part of creating a new community at Waverley, a joint venture between Harworth Group plc and Dransfield Properties Ltd received planning consent for a new local centre that will deliver over 190,000 sq ft of mixed-use space that includes up to 99,000 sq ft for a new foodstore and retail space, alongside office space covering 38,000 sq ft.

Harworth, the AIM-listed firm which is based close to the Waverley site, was created in the complex restructuring of UK Coal. It specialises in brownfield regeneration and property investment and last month secured planning permission for a major mixed-use redevelopment of the former Thoresby Colliery in Nottinghamshire providing up to 800 new homes and 250,000 sq ft of employment space.

Harworth Group website

Images: Harworth / Sky House

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