Wavensmere Homes Plots New Future for the Nightingale Quarter
Wavensmere Homes’ plans for a revised Nightingale Quarter on the site of the former Derbyshire Royal Infirmary have been approved by Derby City Council.
After purchasing the site earlier this year, Wavensmere were quick to outline their ambitions for the DRI, focusing on delivery of a high-quality residential neighbourhood. Plans have now been submitted and were approved at planning committee on the 14th February 2019. Work will commence in August 2019, with the first homes available in autumn 2020.
James Dickens, founder of Wavensmere, is excited by the opportunity provided by the site and believes the ambitious timeline is achievable following initial conversations with Derby City Council and Marketing Derby. He said, “Derby City Council and Marketing Derby have been a pleasure to work with, their pragmatic approach and can-do attitude has been greatly received by us as a developer.”
Two iconic Pepper Pot buildings still remain on the site and Wavensmere have decided to make both buildings a key feature of the scheme. Other historical features of the site will be refurbished and restored, including the five villas opposite Hartington Street, following constructive consultation with the Conservation Officer.
James said: “Both pepper pots will be retained for community use such as cafes/gyms, exhibition space or visitor centres. We understand the sensitivity and importance of these local landmarks as the hospital played a pivotal role in the city and we want them to be enjoyed by all.”
The site is now expected to incorporate close to 800 new homes. Following consultation, Wavensmere have decided against including retail on the site to ensure the Nightingale Quarter adds a sizeable economic benefit to businesses already established in the local area.
The Nightingale Quarter is also set to be labelled as a “green oasis” in the city centre, according to James. He said: “We have been working with Derby City Council’s planning team to create an environment which encourages an active lifestyle comprising cycle routes, promenades, open air gym fitness areas, children’s play areas and lots of substantial planting running through the main axis of the site. As a result we feel the scheme will have a much greater positive impact on the city than originally planned.”
John Forkin, managing director of inward investment agency Marketing Derby, said: “This is an important step in bringing forward development of one of the largest city centre regeneration sites in the country. The Nightingale Quarter will be a desirable residential location in Derby city centre, and, providing planning deadlines are met, should be developed at pace. I look forward to seeing this important part of Derby’s past becoming a vital community asset for its future too.”
“Wavensmere have already made a commitment to long term investment in Derby by becoming a Marketing Derby bondholder and we look forward to working with them in the coming months and years.”