Surrounded by some of Derbyshire’s most scenic countryside and award-winning parkland, you’d be forgiven for thinking The Avenue has simply been prime for residential development. However, this picturesque site was not always so, being the former home of the Avenue Coking Works, a coal and gas plant, for some four decades.
The Coking Works closed in 1992, by which time the site had fallen into such disrepair and was so extensively contaminated that it breached regulations. After Homes England took ownership in 1999, what followed was an almost 20-year collaboration to reclaim the land into a healthy and habitable environment.
Unprecedented in its size and complexity, this ambitious remediation project involved demolition of any remaining industrial infrastructure, complete removal of contamination from the soil, protection of existing habitats and ecology, and construction of a flood storage reservoir. Upon completion in 2018, the site was heavily praised including receiving a prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award from CEEQUAL, the world’s leading sustainability assessors for civil engineering and infrastructure projects.
This transformation of the site quite literally paved the way for The Avenue’s new homes, which were masterplanned to follow an architectural language that would honour its heritage. With the regeneration creating green corridors, drainage design and new biodiversity habitats, the overall design approach sought to celebrate and emphasise these.
Landscape dictated movement, prioritising cycle paths, walking routes and play areas, as well as establishing countryside connections and reactivating the frontage along the nearby River Rother. Homes were therefore arranged to create a strong network of streets, enabling accessibility and connectivity with nature. Walking through The Avenue, you’ll also find the development has four distinctive areas, each with its own character.
The Avenue is lime tree lined and reinstates a historic walkway running though the centre of the site. Homes here are typically three storey and have a classic, formal appearance including gable fronts and pitched roofs. In the heart of the development, the Village Green provides a relaxing open green space for the community to enjoy. Walking and cycle paths converge here and run alongside a children’s play area. The Primary Corridor spans the site’s eastern boundary and is characterised by a mix of two and three storey homes with decorative chimneys inspired by the site’s former industrial use. Finally, the Western Terrace features detached and semi-detached two storey homes, recessed to create a more natural street scene.
Anastasija Clayton, Senior Development Manager for Homes England, comments: “Avenue Project is one of the most ambitious remediation projects in the UK. Homes England and its partners are extremely proud of what we delivered for the benefit of the existing and new residents of Wingerworth. The results of the project are clear to see. The regeneration of the Avenue Coking Works has taken an environmental and social hazard and transformed it into a safe place where people can live, work and play, and take pride in their community.”
Recognised as one the UK’s most significant brownfield redevelopments, The Avenue has created a thriving new suburb in a truly unique location. Homeowners here can not only be assured of thoughtfully designed properties in a range of layouts and sizes, but also an outstanding and bespoke environment ready to be explored from their doorstep.