MP Stuart Andrew has visited Redrow’s Horsforth Vale development to view progress at the former Clariant Works site and a neighbouring mill which is also being transformed.
Mr Andrew, MP for Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough, was welcomed by the homebuilder’s land director, Matthew Barker, and David Faraday, technical director, who took him on a tour of the area as it undergoes massive and much-needed redevelopment.
Redrow is in the process of transforming two adjoining industrial sites six miles north west of Leeds city centre into stunning new housing communities.
Regeneration of the old Clariant Works chemical plant began in 2009, a year after it had closed, with extensive remediation undertaken by Redrow’s sister company Harrow Estates. Redrow began building a range of two, three, four and five-bedroom homes in 2014 and well over 200 of the planned 342 homes have now been built.
At the end of 2015, Redrow subsequently acquired the neighbouring Riverside Mills site, which had previously been a fabric yard, dyeing and twisting mill. This area is being redeveloped with 125 new homes including the refurbishment and renovation of two original mill buildings. While covering 19.5 acres, only half the area is being developed for housing with the rest left as managed woodland and open space.
Matthew Barker, land director for Redrow Homes (Yorkshire) said: “It was a pleasure to show Mr Andrew around the development and allow him to see first-hand the progress we are making in transforming what had become derelict eyesores into sought-after new homes.
As well as viewing the homes and admiring the difference that is already being made, Mr Andrew learned about some of the challenges of building on the redundant sites; and overcoming obstacles presented by things like ground conditions, site levels and the care and attention needed to preserve existing buildings and absorb them carefully and creatively into the overall scheme.
While there he also met two of Redrow’s local apprentices, Harry McCarthy, 18, who is learning to be a painter and decorator, and trainee ground worker Luke Chapman, 23, both of whom have been with Redrow for a year.
Mr Andrew said: “It was a pleasure to visit the site and see the progress that is being made. I was particularly pleased to meet the apprentices as this is something I am passionate about, helping young people to learn new skills whilst earning a wage helps both the industry and the individual. Using brownfield sites instead of destroying our greenbelt is something I and many local people are campaigning for. If it’s a choice between the two then we should be looking at regeneration such as this rather than erasing important parts of our green infrastructure.”
Matthew Barker added: “It was reaffirming for us as a company to have our work to transform these derelict sites noted and to receive recognition for our commitment to training and apprenticeships, especially as Redrow has been a Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer for the last four years.”
Redrow also discovered it had an affinity with Mr Andrew in supporting the Yorkshire-wide Martin House children’s hospice. Prior to becoming an MP, Mr Andrew was a fundraising manager for the hospice – and he was pleased to learn that Martin House is Redrow’s adopted charity in Yorkshire and the housebuilder and its staff have raised £50,000 in the last two years.
As well as contributing more than 450 new homes on the two brownfield sites – including a significant amount of affordable housing – Redrow’s Horsforth Vale has also brought wider benefits for the area, including local highways improvements, a substantial education contribution, a new bus service and enhanced local sports and recreation facilities.
Redrow currently has four-bedroom homes from £329,950 in Horsforth Vale, with more three-bedroom properties coming soon; they include a range of styles at The Green development in Calverley Lane and at Woodlands in Mill Square, off Low Hall Road. For further info go to www.redrow.co.uk/horsforth.