Derby’s Landmark Friar Gate Goods Yard Site to be Brought Forward

The landowner for the historic Friar Gate Goods Yard in central Derby has selected Wavensmere Homes to collaboratively bring forward development proposals for the derelict 11.5-acre (4.96Ha) site, which includes two landmark Grade II listed buildings.

The site has been in the ownership of the Clowes family for 40 years, with a number of options for redevelopment proposed but not progressed, due to heritage considerations and commercial viability. The site, which is accessed off Uttoxeter New Road is now set to be transformed into around 275 homes, plus a significant element of mixed-use commercial space, which will bring about the restoration of the Grade II listed Bonded Warehouse and Engine House. A planning application is currently being prepared, in consultation with Derby City Council and a range of stakeholders.

Thomas Clowes, Director of Derbyshire-based Clowes Developments, said: “We are very pleased to be working with a highly innovative developer, who not only has a reputation for restoring heritage assets and revitalising previously used land, but already has a strong legacy of success here in Derby.

Birmingham-headquartered Wavensmere Homes has become one of this city’s most prominent residential developers, with the £170m multi-award-winning Nightingale Quarter becoming one of the finest regeneration and restoration assets in the region.

“The Wavensmere team had the vision to transform the former Derby Royal Infirmary on London Road – which had laid derelict for a decade – into the vibrant new community it is today. The public, the Council, and all stakeholders can be reassured that the team will be applying the same collaborative approach and huge investment injection to Friar Gate Goods Yard.

‘’We would like to mention Cawarden, the specialist contractor, who orchestrated the recent stabilisation works to the listed structures, as well as other site preparation, to allow ourselves and Wavensmere Homes to finally bring the site forward.’’

Glancy Nicholls Architects has been appointed to design the mixed-use scheme, which will reflect the significant opportunity for exemplary placemaking. The latest green energy features will be incorporated into the design for the new homes and commercial space, to enable the highest EPC rating of A to be targeted. The proposed development would also be compliant with the new Part L building regulations.

James Dickens, Managing Director of Wavensmere Homes, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Clowes Developments to reanimate this landmark, centrally located site. The design proposals that we are currently working up are ground-breaking and provide solutions for bringing the two badly fire-damaged 150-year-old listed buildings within the Goods Yard back into use. A key marker of success will be introducing innovative energy saving technology that keeps the future running costs to occupiers to a minimum.

“We hope that the people of Derby will once again get behind the collaborative efforts being made to create something truly special here. It is vital that Friar Gate’s two important heritage assets are finally removed from English Heritage’s ‘at risk’ register.”

The proposed development site sits just outside the Friar Gate Conservation Area, which features notable Georgian townhouses with high-quality brickwork and fine architectural detailing. The Friar Gate Goods Yard was intended as the main goods depot for the Great Northern Railway line, to handle coal, livestock, timber, and metals. Designed in 1870, and entering operation in 1878, the Bonded Warehouse building contained extensive warehouse space and offices. It was used as a store for the American Army in WWII to house ammunition and other supplies.

The Engine House was also built for the Railway by Kirk & Randall of Sleaford. It is Italianate in style and built from Welsh slate roofs. The Engine House supplied power to the hydraulic lifts and capstans at the Bonded Warehouse. The site first became derelict in 1967, and overtime became overgrown and fell into a poor state of repair. An arson attack took place at the Goods Yard in 2020, which exposed the whole inner steel structure of the two historic buildings.

Derby’s array of city centre amenities and attractions are within a five-to-10-minute walk of the site, with Derby Train Station being 1.5 miles away. Several bus routes are located along the boundary roads to the site: Friar Gate Road and Uttoxeter New Road.

The Friar Gate development proposals will promote sustainable development through the use of low-carbon materials, modern methods of construction, and renewable energy generation. The environmental impact of the project is being carefully considered with ‘pocket parks’ and additional green spaces incorporated to deliver new ‘green lungs’ that will benefit the city, as well as creating biodiversity net gains. A key pedestrian link through the site will be reinstated and mature trees will be retained. 

The collaborative development agreement was brokered by Russell Rigby of Derby-based property agents Rigby and Co.

We are constructing three major urban regeneration schemes, located in central Birmingham, Derby city centre, and Ipswich, and have further projects – in addition to Friar Gate Goods Yard – in the immediate pipeline, with around 3,500 new homes either under construction or in planning.

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As seen in…

Derby Telegraph

Show House

Property Week

The Business Desk

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