Third river crossing and 1,500 new homes for Drakelow Park

Drakelow Site

Countryside, the UK’s leading mixed-tenure developer, has completed the purchase of an 80-hectare parcel of land from Drakelow Park Group where it intends to build approximately 1,500 homes alongside major investment in community amenities, education and infrastructure.

Countryside’s plans for the site include its commitment to build the long-awaited third river crossing to replace the 1940s single-lane Bailey Bridge in Walton-on-Trent, building work for which is anticipated to begin this year.

Countryside is currently developing plans for Drakelow Park, which sits on the east bank of the River Trent, south of Burton on the border of Derbyshire and Staffordshire. The developer is expected to carry out extensive public consultation over the coming months ahead of its submission of a detailed planning application.

Subject to planning permission, the first phase of the development will comprise approximately 1,000 homes, of which 400 will be affordable housing through Countryside’s registered partner, Midland Heart, 200 will be available for private rent with 400 homes for sale through a range of buying initiatives. A further 500 homes will be delivered in the development’s second phase.

As part of its detailed planning application, Countryside is currently reviewing its Section 106 commitments. Once agreed with the planning authority, these are expected to include the construction of a new primary school with additional contributions to education, local amenities, medical services, public open spaces and play areas.

Countryside will deliver the development in a number of phases over the course of the next 10 years, working with the resident businesses currently located at the north of Drakelow Park to ensure their continued operation throughout the early stages of development.

Work on site will also include the refurbishment of the Grade II Listed former Drakelow Hall stable and will add to the 193 homes currently under construction.

Adam Daniels, Managing Director, Partnerships West Midlands, commented: “Our acquisition of the land at Drakelow Park is a huge step forward in our ambitious plans to regenerate the site into a thriving community of high quality new homes supported by extensive local services and amenities.

“We understand the local appetite for the third river crossing and are wholly committed to delivering this vital part of the development to ensure that the new neighbourhood at Drakelow Park brings essential improvements to the current infrastructure.

“We are extremely excited about moving forward with the development of Drakelow Park and will be spending the coming weeks and months in consultation with the local community to draw up detailed plans for the site. Importantly, we will be working with the planning authority and community stakeholders to understand their local needs to ensure our Section 106 commitments provide the required investments that will serve local people.”

Roger Bullivant, founder of the Drakelow Park Group, said: “The Walton on Trent bridge has been a nightmare for decades. I am delighted that this deal will not only bring much needed housing to the area but will also finally resolve the river crossing, bringing relief to the village of Walton, easing the traffic through Burton and Stapenhill and opening up opportunities throughout the area.

“A lot of people have helped to make this possible but I would like to pay particular tribute to the local Council officers in South Derbyshire and others in both Derbyshire and Staffordshire who have worked with us to make this happen.”

In 1987 Roger Bullivant Ltd opened on the Drakelow site and grew to become the largest foundation contractor in the UK. Roger Bullivant sold the company in 2011 but retained ownership of the Drakelow park site. Roger added: “It has always been my dream to regenerate the site one day and open this attractive woodland and riverside to the public in what was the extensive grounds of Drakelow Hall.”

Chris Miller, Director of Development at Midland Heart, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to work in partnership with Countryside on the regeneration of Drakelow Park, delivering 400 affordable homes alongside the other tenures on the site.  This builds on our relationship with Countryside and strengthens our own programme in this part of the region, where we are already building a further 300 affordable homes. Combined, this will enable us to make a significant contribution to families in the area, providing access to good quality affordable housing.”

Countryside’s purchase of land from Drakelow Park Group was facilitated by agents, Knight Frank and Talland Capital with legal representation from Pinsent Masons and Trowers and Hamlins. Countryside is currently in negotiations to purchase an additional parcel of land on which it hopes to build a further 400 homes.