Friday, August 14, 2020

News: Rotherham construction contract confirmed for Willmott Dixon


National contractor Willmott Dixon has been appointed by Rotherham Council to deliver 171 homes with the award of a £31.5m contract.

The scheme is made up of three developments under the Council's Rother Living brand - one on the site of the former Henley's garage in Wellgate, another on Sheffield Road, and the final site on Westgate on the Millfold House site.

Work is already underway and the developments will feature a mix of houses and apartments for council housing, shared ownership, and affordable sale.

Rothbiz reported back last year that Willmott Dixon was the contractor partner as the authority progressed ambitious proposals for new town centre housing. Since January 2019, the Council has worked with the contractor to develop these schemes to construction stage, and previous contracts are now subsumed by this larger construction contract.

The Council signed off on the contract at the end of last month having been scrutinised its legal and finance departments and by external consultants.

Stuart Kerr, operations director at Willmott Dixon, said: "These three Rother Living schemes are hugely important projects for the town and Rotherham Council. The developments will make a difference to the local community by providing high-quality council housing and opportunities for residents to get on the housing ladder.

"We're excited to be working in partnership with Rotherham Council and their Rother Living brand. As an employer within the region and, having recently completed Rotherham's University Centre as part of the Rotherham Plan 2025, we are delighted to be playing a part in the council's continued investment in housing and the town centre. With 75% of the development reserved for affordable housing, these schemes will go a long way to support the council’s housing growth plans."

The £13m site Westgate Riverside development in Sheffield Road consists of two apartment blocks containing 44 homes and 28 two and three-storey semi-detached and terraced houses. The Millfold House development (pictured, top), which is valued at £10m, will feature one apartment block consisting of 31 apartments and 14 back-to-back houses. The third development, on the site of the former Henley's garage on Wellgate, consists of two apartment blocks containing 34 homes and 20 two and three-storey terraced houses, with a value of £8.5m.

Willmott Dixon is already working across these sites. In Sheffield Road, full site set-up is already complete and work is on-going to transform the land, which includes the addition of flooding defenses. Work has also started at the Millfold House development with ground preparation work having commenced in mid-June.

The construction firm said that it would be actively supporting local social enterprises and SMEs, delivering initiatives to improve wellbeing and mental health in the community, supporting local projects, community groups and running initiatives aimed at reducing crime.

Councillor Dominic Beck, cabinet member for housing at Rotherham Council, said: "These are exciting developments that will deliver 171 new properties for local people, including 129 council homes and shared ownership dwellings. It will transform three disused former industrial sites and comes at a time when the Forge Island part of our Town Centre Masterplan starts to take shape.

"The developments include a variety of property types to suit people of different ages - including first-time buyers, key workers, families, and older downsizers. A lot of hard work has gone into putting these plans together and it's fantastic to see the Willmott Dixon team making a start on development, which will greatly contribute towards our ambitions for housing growth and town centre regeneration.

"Ultimately, these three developments are a significant step forward in our vision to improve Rotherham town centre, giving it a new sense of purpose with a stronger identity and thriving community, which local people can take pride in."

The developments, which have been designed by Bond Bryan Architects, are due for completion in 2022.

Rother Living website
Willmott Dixon website

Images: Bond Bryan / Willmott Dixon


Anonymous,  August 14, 2020 at 3:04 PM  

I can’t help thinking that these prime town centre locations are lacking ambition, being as we are supposed to be so short of accommodation ,why not have something
taller with 6/7 floors as an example rather
than using the proposed use of green belt land
near Greasbrough

Anonymous,  August 14, 2020 at 9:22 PM  

It could be the cost of building above a certain level I do not know if the same applies to homes but look at the footprint of Rotherham Hospital to that of the Hallamshire, but I can not imagine something like the Hallamshire Hospital ever been built again.

Anonymous,  August 17, 2020 at 11:50 PM  

Can't be anything to do with cost. More storeys, means more units for sale or rent so more income, also more council tax for council. Just bad planning and short sightedness.

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