As one of the UK’s leading regeneration companies, we recognise that we influence the design and delivery of future communities. It is a serious responsibility and one that we are proud to deliver on in the way we: design and deliver our projects; and work with local communities during their build-out.
Our developments have helped to bring new life to former industrial areas, whilst also supporting a number of key community initiatives that have an effect beyond our day-to-day work. We’ve done this whilst also acting responsibly and consistently in the way we interact with local communities.
The difference we make
In our work over the past decade, we have helped to deliver thousands of new jobs and homes on our land across the North of England and the Midlands. Our sites at Waverley and Logistics North are leading examples of regeneration in the North of England, replacing many times over the jobs that were lost when mining ended. Three times as many people are now employed at the Advanced Manufacturing Park than were employed at Orgreave Coking Works when it closed in 1990. Over 1,500 new homes and more than 7m sq. ft of commercial space have been built out on land owned or prepared by Harworth. Over 8,500 people are now employed across Harworth’s Major Developments and Business Space sites.
Using our land and property experience to deliver future schemes in the same vein as Waverley and Logistics North is essential to the regeneration of former industrial areas and supports the growth of UK plc. The recently published Industrial Strategy White Paper sets out a long-term plan for rebalancing and growth of a highly-skilled UK economy. Together with strategies to deliver the “Northern Powerhouse” and the “Midlands Engine”, these provide the foundation for a step change in investment and growth across the North of England and Midlands. The provision of new residential and commercial land and property to facilitate that investment remains an essential ingredient for sustainable growth.
Nowhere is this better shown than at the 150-acre Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, where just under 1.5m sq. ft of commercial space has delivered over 1,500 skilled jobs in key sectors such as aerospace, automotive and energy, including hydrogen fuel cells and battery storage. Key occupiers (and employers) include Rolls-Royce, Boeing, McLaren Automotive and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, renowned as the UK’s leading centre of manufacturing excellence.
Housebuilding remains the UK’s number one domestic political priority, driven by a continued shortfall in supply (300,000 required homes versus c.225,000 home starts in 2018). The Chancellor’s 2018 Budget reflected this priority by including measures to support economic growth, including improvements to national infrastructure and initiatives to stimulate the provision of affordable housing arrangements and support smaller house builders. With a portfolio benefitting from outline consent for over 11,000 homes and a pipeline of several thousand more, Harworth will continue to make a meaningful contribution to delivering this national priority in the long-term.
With sites extending across eleven LEP areas in the North of England and Midlands, economic consultancy firm, Ekosgen, has now estimated that our portfolio has the potential to accommodate over 66,000 jobs and generate £3.6bn of Gross Value Added (GVA) per annum, as well as significant levels of business rates income. More than 20,000 new homes could be built on Harworth sites, supporting up to £131.5m of income through the New Homes Bonus and up to £32.9m per annum in council tax receipts.
Our approach to development
As referenced in the Our Partners section on pages 58 and 59, central to delivering this economic uplift through the regeneration of land is a mature approach to engaging with local stakeholders, including residents, statutory bodies and those with an interest in the intended end-use of our land.
We use a seven stage approach to stakeholder engagement to ensure the success of developments. The ultimate aim is for positive, meaningful and timely public engagement which encourages local stakeholders to take an active part in the process and add genuine value at all stages of the development lifecycle.
We are using this approach on our future Major Developments.
1. Establish Initial Masterplan
- Establish contact with, and encourage participation from, all key interest groups including local authorities, MPs, key activist groups and statutory bodies to establish their desires or concerns regarding development.
- Create the first high-level masterplan to use, with supporting information, as the basis of initial public engagement work.
2. Initial Stakeholder Workshops
- Run a series of workshops close to site to critique formally all aspects of the initial masterplan.
- Ensure representatives from the local authority and parish councils including local councillors, Highways England, Homes England, adjacent landowners and ecologists are invited and formally participate.
- Attendees to be split into groups to work through set questions on potential future land uses and to take part in a design workshop to explore specific uses.
This approach worked extremely well for the consultation at the former Thoresby colliery in 2015, where over 70 attendees attended both workshops to help guide a housing-led masterplan on a green belt site through the start of the planning process.
3. Test Initial Proposals with Statutory Bodies
- Working with the appointed professional team, work closely with all key statutory bodies to critique the masterplan and supporting documentation to get the plan in a suitable form for formal public consultation.
4. Formal Public Consultation
- Promote consultation events at key local centres close to the site to encourage wide-ranging public feedback on plans. All plans to include background to site, proposed uses and rationale, and planned development mitigation measures including highways and proposed developer contributions. Request feedback via forms on the day and use of bespoke consultation website in order to gauge public opinion and to establish key areas of support or concern.
This approach worked particularly well at Thoresby, with over 400 attendees participating in a six-hour consultation onsite, and at Ironbridge in October 2018, with over 500 attendees in attendance. At both consultations, attendees toured the site in order for our plans to be put in proper context. At both sites, two‑ thirds of attendees were in favour of our initial ideas for the respective sites.
5. Further Refinement of Masterplan & Supporting Documents
- Revise masterplan in consultation with local planning officers to account for all public feedback and to ensure all relevant documentation is in place to make an active planning application.
- Brief local councillors on nature and specifics of intended application prior to submission.
6. Outline Application Submission & Determination
- Submit outline planning application and all supporting documentation.
- Continue to work with key consultees to ensure concerns and advice are understood and addressed throughout the process.
7. Ongoing Delivery of Scheme & Establishment of Management Company for Development
- Continue to work closely with all local stakeholders when working up detailed planning applications for each phase of the development. Support this process with regular meetings with all relevant parties.
- Establish permanent digital presence – new website and social media – to communicate with the public on development plans and milestones.
- Create a site-specific management company upon commencement of development to manage public open space over the life of the development. The management company will be managed by Harworth through the initial stages of development before control is passed to residents or a dedicated third party, such as Lands Trust
Supporting community and charitable projects
A key part of our ethos is supporting a range of community and charitable projects across the areas in which we work. This includes support for a range of local causes, such as: sponsorship for local football teams in Rotherham and Pontefract; making available commercial space for charitable uses; and supporting local events that promote community cohesion.
One major change we initiated towards the end of 2018 was to partner with two national charities. Following consultation with employees, the People Steering Group chose to partner with Land Aid and The Wildlife Trusts.
Land Aid is the “property industry charity”, bringing together the industry to support life-changing projects for young people facing homelessness nationwide. Every year, Land Aid uses the donations and skills of its charity partners to provide accommodation and support for young people (aged 16-25) who are homeless. Land Aid is already supported by many of our partners including the British Property Federation, Carter Jonas, Cushman & Wakefield, Jones Lang LaSalle, Knight Frank, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Savills. In total, it currently has 81 partners.
We will be making an annual financial donation to Land Aid as a corporate partner, whilst also holding two “open call” days per year for Harworth employees to assist with building, managing and maintaining a number of housing projects throughout the UK.
The Wildlife Trusts
The Wildlife Trusts are a collection of 46 independent regional trusts that cover the whole of the UK. Each trust is formed to make a positive difference to local wildlife for future generations. Collectively, these trusts look after more than 2,300 nature reserves and operate over 100 visitor and education centres across the UK. Each trust relies heavily on financial donations, lottery contributions and volunteer support to continue their work.
We will be making an annual financial donation to The Wildlife Trusts as a corporate partner. We will nominate the regional projects we wish to support to tie in with our regional footprint. We have also offered two “open call” days per year for Harworth staff to donate their time to key Wildlife Trust projects, including tree planting and maintenance of nature reserves. In addition, the Wildlife Trusts will be working with us on a strategic basis to provide advice on wildlife projects on some of our sites, including the 558-acre Logistics North Country Park and the 200-acre public open space at Waverley
We appraise the effectiveness of each engagement programme using four key indicators:
|Early engagement||To what extent was there an opportunity to influence and shape development?|
|Meaningful||Was it a “real” consultation? How did the project change as a result of the comments received? What tools and techniques were used?|
|Inclusive||Was the wider community involved? What steps were taken to “reach out” to those who would not normally be involved in planning consultations?|
|Effective (map, gap and take note)||Was it effective? Were the views expressed balanced and representative of the local area? Taking account that monitoring should reflect the geography and demography of the local area – was it reviewed and what action took place to address gaps?|