friar gate

Wavensmere Homes’ £75m Plans for Derby’s Friar Gate Goods Yard Recommended for Approval

Plans submitted by Wavensmere Homes and Clowes Developments for the redevelopment of the city’s historic Friar Gate Goods Yard have been recommended for approval by Derby City Council’s planning officials. The detailed design proposals – submitted in August 2023 – set out the vision for the reanimation of two landmark Grade II listed buildings into over 110,000 sq ft of commercial space, with 276 new homes also planned for the 11.5-acre (4.96Ha) site.

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A painstaking restoration of the 19th Century Bonded Warehouse and Engine House is set to deliver a total of 111,275 sq ft of flexible offices, health and fitness space, a restaurant/café, together with a regional sales centre for Birmingham-headquartered Wavensmere Homes. The plans also include extensive new areas of Public Open Space, including play spaces and pocket parks. A new multi-purpose public realm and community space is also proposed for the elevated area adjacent to Friar Gate Bridge, with retention of some of the original railway arch facades. New vehicular, pedestrian and cycle access would be created at various points around the site, from Uttoxeter New Road, Great Northern Way, and Friar Gate, with the Mick Mack cycling route also extended.

Friar Gate Goods Yard has been in the ownership of the Clowes family for over 40 years, with a number of options for redevelopment proposed but not progressed, due to heritage constraints and commercial viability. Wavensmere Homes and Clowes developments worked with Glancy Nicholls Architects and Pegasus Group to incorporate the views from over 200 local public consultation responses into the comprehensive plans for the redevelopment of the derelict site.

We are very pleased that this significant planning application will be considered by Derby City Council’s Planning Committee on the evening of Thursday 25th April.

“Alongside the drawings, our 3D model of the entirety of the Grade II listed Bonded Warehouse and Engine House enables us to clearly present how the buildings will be reanimated. The context of the eco-focused homes and several acres of new Public Open Space will be a much-needed catalyst for further urban regeneration. The fine attention to detail and bold investment we are set to inject in this £75m city centre landmark will see it become a nationally important trophy asset in Derby’s ongoing renaissance.

James Dickens, Managing Director of Wavensmere Homes

If the plans receive the green light at Committee on 25th April, Wavensmere Homes anticipates receiving formal planning approval in time to commence work on site this summer. Strong interest has been received from prospective operators of the health and fitness centre, office space, and the restaurant/café – all of which will be within the Bonded Warehouse. The multi-award-winning housebuilder also has a database of over 500 prospective purchasers wishing to buy one of the townhouses, indicating the pent-up demand and appeal.

The Friar Gate Goods Yard redevelopment plans illustrate the millions of pounds that need to be invested into saving these distressed 150-year-old listed buildings. Glancy Nicholls Architects has proudly brought its expertise in restoration and retrofit design to sustainably restore two of Derby city centre’s most notable historic structures, providing a vibrant new chapter of their story.

From the outset, the overarching brief from Wavensmere Homes was for a huge emphasis to be placed on exemplary placemaking. By having a mix of commercial uses within the two buildings – and opening the inaccessible site up to create a series of new linear parks – hundreds of people could appreciate these heritage assets on a daily basis.

In addition to the proposals for the listed buildings, the designs for the 227 two- and three-bedroom townhouses are bespoke. Curved and terraced street scenes celebrate the beauty and vista of the Bonded Warehouse, while incorporating a range of energy saving technologies and strategies. A four-storey apartment building is also proposed, containing 49 apartments to reinstate the lost streetscape of the Stafford Street frontage. The highest EPC rating of A is being targeted for the new homes, with all plots designed to be future-proofed ahead of the 2025 Future Homes Standard.”

Adam McPartland, Director of Glancy Nicholls Architects

The 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 iron 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 on Friar Gate and Uttoxeter New Road.

The Goods Yard redevelopment proposals promote sustainable development through the use of low carbon materials, modern methods of construction, and renewable energy generation. The redevelopment would see the retention of the majority of the protected mature trees, together with a range of biodiversity enhancements.

To view the plans for Friar Gate Goods Yard, please visit:

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