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Revised Plans for Prime Derby Riverside Site Lodged by Wavensmere Homes and Wilson Bowden Developments

Wavensmere Homes and Wilson Bowden Developments have submitted revised plans for the redevelopment of one of the final plots of vacant land within Derby’s newly revitalised Cathedral Quarter. 195 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments are now proposed for the Full Street site, within a redesigned finely detailed u-shaped nine-storey red brick building.

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The revised plans address concerns from stakeholders, with a reduction in the height of the proposed development tabled to bring it within the confines of the extant office planning permission. The top/ninth floor has been redesigned with a discreet glazed curtain wall, set-back by 1.5m to create full roof terraces. The stepped roofline – and loss of four apartments alongside the riverside elevation – will enable the proposed development to blend in with the existing adjacent residential building. The revised dwelling mix introduces studio apartments and two-bedroom duplex homes, along with fully glazed cantilevered balconies to all plots overlooking Cathedral Green and the River Derwent.

The 0.2Ha site is bounded by Full Street to the west and the River Derwent to the east. Measuring approximately 50m wide by 50m long, the site was previously occupied by a police station, which was constructed in the 1960s and demolished in 2013. Phase One of Wilson Bowden’s Full Street development was completed in 2016. It includes the refurbishment of the Riverside Chambers office complex, delivery of 46 new apartments at Number One Cathedral Green, and a Premier Inn hotel.

This remaining parcel of land had been earmarked for an office development of up to 100,000 sq ft, but is instead being brought forward by Wavensmere Homes for an apartment scheme, benefiting from a vibrant waterside location, with views of the 16th Century Derby Cathedral and its 212ft tower. Also lying adjacent to the site is the Museum of Making at the restored Derby Silk Mill, which re-opened to the public in 2021. The Full Street residential development proposals are designed to complete the jigsaw of this prime Derby city centre site by providing dual aspect landscaped public realm over Cathedral Green, whilst enhancing activity at street level.

Nottingham-based Franklin Ellis Architects has drawn up the revised plans, inspired by the traditional architecture and heritage assets within the vicinity. In addition to the apartments, 2,000 sq ft of mixed-use space has been accommodated at ground floor level to overlook Cathedral Green and Full Street, providing an active frontage. A range of uses are earmarked for this space, including a new café and high-quality residential facilities such as a gymnasium, co-working zone, and concierge point.

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This challenging brownfield site occupies one of the best locations within Derby city centre and benefits from rich views of the Cathedral Quarter and the River Derwent. It has been vacant for 10 years and the opportunity to create an exemplary development, reflective of the prime gateway location is exciting.

Our proposed scheme will help towards Derby City Council’s target to provide a minimum of 11,000 new homes throughout the city over the coming decade. By appropriately densifying this derelict brownfield site within such a prized and popular city location, we will create highly energy-efficient homes for well over 250 people who will then spend their time and disposable income locally. We look forward to continuing to work with Derby City Council’s Officers, Councillors, and wider stakeholders, as our revised plans are considered.

James Dickens, Managing Director of Birmingham-based Wavensmere Homes

The plans for the Full Street site include two communal staircases, courtyard car parking provision and secure bicycle spaces. The latest green energy features will be incorporated into the design for the new homes, to enable a high EPC rating to be targeted, whilst exceeding the new Part L building regulations. The scheme will promote sustainable development through the use of low carbon materials, modern methods of construction, and renewable energy generation via roof mounted solar PV panels.

Throughout the design process, our team has been conscious of the need for this proposed development to carefully close the wider urban block and positively front Full Street, Cathedral Green and the waterside, improving the safety, attractiveness, and animation of the adjacent public areas. 

We have taken a context led approach to a layered facade design, incorporating quality detailing and a refined material palette, whilst paying homage to the surrounding architecture and heritage assets, ensuring the Cathedral is always the star of the show. Since first submitting plans last October, we have spent considerable time refining the design and generating these revised plans, which address stakeholder feedback.

Matthew Branton, Managing Director of Franklin Ellis Architects

Derby’s array of city centre shops, amenities and attractions are located within moments of the site on Full Street, with Derby Train Station being one mile away, and reachable by foot and public transport in under 10 minutes. Regular services to London St Pancras take less than 90 minutes, while trains to Birmingham city centre take 34 minutes.

Wavensmere Homes has become one of Derby’s most prominent residential developers, with the £175m multi-award-winning Nightingale Quarter becoming one of the finest regeneration and restoration assets in the region. The former Derby Royal Infirmary on London Road – which had laid derelict for a decade – has been transformed into a vibrant new community, including over 900 houses and apartments.

In 2023, the company also submitted plans for the 11.5-acre (4.96Ha) historic Friar Gate Goods Yard in central Derby, which could be transformed into 276 houses and apartments, and over 110,000sq ft of commercial space.

Late last year Wavensmere Homes received the green light from Amber Valley Borough Council for the redevelopment of Milford Mills, which overlooks the River Derwent, located between Belper and Duffield in north Derbyshire. 69 new homes will be delivered on the historic site, which is within the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The firm is currently constructing two other major urban regeneration schemes, located in central Birmingham and Ipswich, and has further projects across middle England in the immediate pipeline. The Edgbaston-headquartered housebuilder has around 3,500 new homes either under construction or in planning.

To view the plans and read more about the project, please visit: 

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