Major mixed use development planned for 10-acre site

Harworth Group, a regenerator of land and property for development and investment, has unveiled plans for a mixed-use scheme which will form the heart of the community at its Waverley development in Rotherham.

The newest project will be called Olive Lane and has been designed by Harworth in collaboration with Coda Architecture, PWP Landscape Design and BE Design.

The plans comprise retail uses, a gym, offices, restaurants and cafes, a supermarket, a medical centre, community space, a bus hub and residential development.

It is proposed to be developed on around 10 acres of land between the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) and the site’s existing residential area.

The centre will support Waverley’s burgeoning resident population, which currently numbers over 2,500 people, in addition to the 2,000 workers at the AMP where occupiers include Rolls-Royce, McLaren Automotive and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

Existing occupiers have recently been joined by the UK Atomic Energy Authority, following the practical completion of its 22,300 sq ft nuclear fusion research facility in October 2020.

Harworth is now sharing its plans with residents and workers ahead of the submission of a planning application in 2021.

It is also actively seeking expressions of interest from potential occupiers to add to the list of interested parties wanting to take space at the proposed development.

Waverley is Yorkshire’s largest brownfield redevelopment, with outline planning consent in place for 3,890 homes and two million sq ft of commercial space.

To date over 1,000 homes have been built by Barratt Homes, Harron, Taylor Wimpey, Avant and Skyhouse, alongside 1.5 million sq ft of commercial space predominantly for advanced manufacturing.

Other local facilities have also been developed on-site, including a primary school that opened in September 2020.

Waverley is also within the region’s Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID).

This district spans over 2,000 acres and is a major contributor to the rebalancing of the UK through its businesses developing research-led, technology-based solutions in sectors as varied as aerospace, defence, transportation, nuclear, low-carbon energy and healthcare technologies.

Duncan Armstrong-Payne, associate director for major projects at Harworth, said: “The importance of strong communities and the need for liveable, walkable neighbourhoods is central to our vision at Waverley, which has been reinforced by the pandemic.

“Our proposal for Olive Lane brings together a high-density mix of uses with an emphasis on high-quality design and finish, providing the facilities that local residents and workers at the AMP rightfully expect.

“Our continued investment at Waverley also supports the Government’s rebalancing programme.

“I look forward to sharing plans with those living or working at Waverley before submitting our planning application in the new year.”

He said the plans for Olive Lane have been drawn up over the summer, adding: “The pandemic has made us all realise how important it is to have vibrant, contemporary amenities on our doorstep.

“It has accelerated a change which we already seeing – which is a drive for things to be more local. We see the wider economic recovery as something that will happen within people’s communities and neighbourhoods.”

Armstrong-Payne explained the land destined for Olive Lane is currently vacant, with the proposed mix of uses meant to ensure the scheme is not over reliant on one particular sector.

It will include a small number of apartments above the retail units, with approximately 160 additional homes.

Richard Petyt, partner at Knight Frank, added: “This is a really exciting project to be involved with and we are delighted to be working alongside Harworth Group.

“The Olive Lane development has great potential to create a high-quality retail and leisure environment and to provide the much-needed facilities to ensure the area works as a viable, vibrant and dynamic community.

“These facilities will further attract new residents and businesses to live and work at the development and also encourage sustainable patterns of shopping and service within the heart of a genuinely sustainable community.”