Rt Hon Angela Rayner and Sir Keir Starmer with the Wavensmere Homes construction team lr.jpg

Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner Visit Derby’s Nightingale Quarter to Reaffirm Commitment to Accelerate Brownfield Development   

Labour Party Leader Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner, Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government, visited Wavensmere Homes’ Nightingale Quarter in Derby city centre to reaffirm the Party’s commitment to accelerate the development of vacant brownfield land.

Rt Hon Angela Rayner and Sir Keir Starmer with the Wavensmere Homes construction team

The £175m development is in the final construction phases of the delivery of 925 houses and apartments, together with a range of community amenities. Situated off London Road, the 18.5-acre site – which had lain derelict for a decade prior to Wavensmere Homes’ acquisition and start on site in 2019 – is one of the most significant residential regeneration projects under construction in the UK.

It was a pleasure to visit Nightingale Quarter to meet residents and workforce from Wavensmere Homes. As the former Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, it’s clear that this is a very emotive site for so many local people and it’s fantastic to see that it’s now home to over 1,000 of them.

“The Tories’ housing emergency has left millions unable to plan their lives, start families, or build a future for themselves and their kids. It’s engulfing a generation of hard-working aspirational people. Labour supports brownfield first policies. We will reform planning policy to turn around the Tories’ lacklustre record when it comes to brownfield build-out rates so we maximise the supply of new homes on previously developed sites.

Sir Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party

The Derbyshire Royal Infirmary opened in 1894 and closed 15 years ago. While the vast majority of the Florence Nightingale-designed Victorian hospital had been bulldozed, Birmingham-headquartered Wavensmere Homes pledged to save and restore the imposing pepperpots, despite one of the buildings being previously consented for demolition. Nightingale Quarter was the double winner in the conservation category at the Civic Society’s recently held ‘A Brighter City of Derby’ Awards.

Pepperpot South opened as the marketing suite for the 925 houses and apartments in 2021. With 95% of the homes now sold, the building is being re-purposed as a gym for residents’ use. The second (North) Pepperpot opened on 14th February as The Fulton Partnership’s sixth hospitality venue in the Midlands. Styled by the interior designer for Gleneagles hotel – to introduce a new concept in luxury dining to the city of Derby – no expense has been spared on the Art Deco-inspired furnishings and refined heritage colour pallet.

When we acquired this vacant site five years ago, we set out to design a landmark scheme that embraced the DE1 location and didn’t turn its back on the city centre. We are proud that our 925 apartments and houses have transformed the city living market, acting as the catalyst for thousands more homes to be delivered within central Derby. By installing new footpaths, cycle routes, roads, co-working space, a gym – and making a restaurant Nightingale Quarter’s new focal point – this redundant ospital site is once again a vibrant community asset.”

James Dickens, Managing Director of Wavensmere Homes

It has been valuable to have the opportunity to meet with Sir Keir and Angela to discuss the complexities of delivering attainable, eco-efficient homes on vacant brownfield sites. As we currently have over 3,500 plots under construction, or in planning, we look forward to assisting Labour’s housing policy team with insight into how they could look to accelerate much-needed residential regeneration.

Donna Smith, Sales Director of Wavensmere Homes,

Well-specified one- and two-bedroom apartments at Nightingale Quarter are priced from £185,000. A large community garden is also being delivered on site, in partnership with Community Interest Company Down to Earth Derby.

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