Developer unveiled for £150m council-backed scheme

Mark Birks (Avison Young), Cllr Stephen Simkins (City of Wolverhampton Council Leader), Cheryl Blount-Powell (Canal & River Trust) and James Dickens (Wavensmere Homes)

The City of Wolverhampton Council has announced its preferred developer for its £150m Canalside South scheme, one of the largest residential development opportunities in the Midlands.

Following the closure of the initial preferred developer, Legal & General Modular Homes, the council has chosen Wavensmere Homes.

The 17-acre waterfront development, located on the eastern edge of the city centre, will include more than 500 new homes, pending planning approval and support the creation of 100 jobs.

Plans comprise 384 two and three-bedroom townhouses, 140 one and two-bedroom apartments, and the redevelopment of disused railway arches into 7,000 sq ft of commercial space.

The design, created by Glancy Nicholls Architects and RPS, will create a conservation area that’s connected to the canalside setting and public open space. The plans will undergo public consultation in early 2024.

James Dickens, managing director of Wavensmere Homes, said: “We are thrilled to be working with the City of Wolverhampton Council and the Canal & River Trust to bring forward this transformational development project. Canalside South will be the catalyst for a new wave of ambitious city living, which is vital to see the Wolverhampton Pound spent locally. This scheme will open up a new walkway to the city core, reducing the previous walk time by 20 minutes and igniting investment into a commercial corridor.

“Our team has a strong history of regenerating vacant land in the Black Country, and we are ready to transform this site into a £150m landmark development that the whole region can be immensely proud of. 70% of our existing supply chain is embedded in the Black Country, and the construction programme will create more than 100 jobs for local people. We are delighted with the collaborative way all land partners and stakeholders are working at pace to deliver change and reanimate this strategic stretch of canalside land.”

Cllr Stephen Simkins, said: “I am delighted to announce Wavensmere Homes as the new preferred developer for this large and exciting opportunity at Canalside South. Through our Canalside Delivery Partnership with the Canal & River Trust, we remain determined to bring back to life our brownfield sites on Wolverhampton’s canal network, which will in turn boost footfall in our city centre.

“We are confident Wavensmere Homes will bring about a nationally significant development on what is one of the most historic stretches of canal in the country. It will enable our residents to benefit from superb connectivity, amenities and health and wellbeing opportunities at this wonderful heritage location.”