Land sales lined up for further 264 housing plots at Waverley

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Harworth Group plc has exchanged contracts on land sales totalling 13.87 net developable acres, with two regional housebuilders, for the next phase of residential development at its flagship Waverley site in Rotherham, South Yorkshire.  The combined price, in excess of £11m, reflects an increasing average price per acre realised at Waverley by Harworth, as Waverley continues to mature as a leading brownfield development.

Avant Homes (“Avant”) will build 220 three and four bedroom family homes on 12.81 net acres of land it has purchased.  This deal follows its acquisition in February 2017 of 4.7 net acres where the housebuilder is already constructing 61 three and four bedroom homes, reflecting the strong demand for this type of product at the development.

Contracts have also been exchanged with Sky House Company (Waverley) Limited (“Sky House”), for 1.06 net acres of land.  Sky House, a fast-growing ‘compact’ urban housebuilder based in Sheffield, will be developing Waverley’s first starter homes aimed at first time buyers, comprising 40 two-bedroom units and four, four-bedroom family homes.  It will be employing its unique Sky-House concept – a re-imagining of Victorian ‘back-to-back’ terraced homes for modern day living.

These sales are another significant milestone at the 20 year regeneration scheme, where Harworth’s ongoing placemaking success has seen 700 homes built to date, alongside 1m sq ft of employment space at the Advanced Manufacturing Park (“AMP”). The aforementioned deals with Avant and Sky House follow the residential land sale of 8.17 net acres to national housebuilder Taylor Wimpey, for the delivery of 130 new homes, in June 2017.

Owen Michaelson, Chief Executive of Harworth, commented: “These transactions provide further evidence of the momentum at Waverley, which is seeing it mature into one of the North of England’s most desirable mixed-use developments.

“Avant Homes’ decision to purchase a second land parcel from us at Waverley proves both the strength of Waverley as a location, their confidence in our ability to deliver sites ready for development and the popularity of their product locally.  In addition, Sky House’s decision to develop innovative starter properties marks an exciting new phase that will add further vibrancy and density to Waverley, whilst also reflecting our desire for the development to offer a broad range of home types aimed at different parts of the market.

“Both deals also demonstrate the underlying strength of the residential market in the North of England, driven by comparatively low prices and a continued lack of housing land supply to meet the needs of a growing population. Harworth is uniquely placed to benefit from this, leveraging our market-leading masterplanning expertise.”

These are the latest of a number of deals at Waverley in 2017.  In July Harworth secured a 20 year pre-let to leading sports car manufacturer McLaren Automotive for a brand new 75,000 sq ft unit at the AMP, joining other major employers including Boeing, Rolls-Royce and the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC). This unit is due for practical completion in Spring 2018.

At the end of October 2017, Waverley Square Limited, a joint venture between Harworth Group plc and Dransfield Properties Ltd, received planning consent for a new local centre that will deliver over 190,000 sq ft of mixed-use space that includes up to 99,000 sq ft for a new foodstore and retail space, alongside office space covering 38,000 sq ft. On completion this will act as central hub that links the AMP with the growing residential development.

Since the beginning of 2017, Harworth has completed or exchanged on residential land sales of over 38 net acres, which will deliver a total of 622 new homes across its projects in the UK, achieving an overall profit on sale.  Following completion of these land sales, Harworth’s consented residential pipeline currently will stand at 10,623 plots, providing a long-term supply of land for new homes in the North of England and the Midlands.