Developer Peter James Homes is breathing new life into a pair of historic Derbyshire buildings that are likely to date back to the birth of the industrial revolution.
The housebuilder is bringing its construction skills to the fore by transforming the near-derelict buildings in Bullbridge Hill, near Ambergate, into five modern family homes.
Work on the two stone buildings, a three-storey former canal warehouse built towards the end of the 18th Century to serve the adjacent Cromford Canal, and a former malthouse, which later became a factory shop for the old Stevensons Dye Works, began in March and is due to be completed by spring next year.
The warehouse building will contain a two-bedroom and a three-bedroom home, while the long factory shop building will house one three-bedroom home and a pair of two-bedroom homes. All will have two private parking spaces and their own gardens.
The two restoration projects, which sit on opposite sides of Bullbridge Hill, are located next to Peter James Homes’ Woodland Heights development, a 148-home scheme of new-build properties on 22 acres overlooking the river Amber.
The developer has a history of demonstrating a wider community approach to its housing projects, ensuring the character of the surrounding areas is maintained or enhanced.
For example, it recently provided funds to aid the completion of renovation works at Aqueduct Cottage, a former lock-keeper’s cottage on the banks of the nearby Cromford Canal.
John Knight, Commercial Manager at Nottinghamshire based Peter James Homes, said: “We’re very proud of our record as a developer - one that genuinely cares about our neighbouring communities.
“It obviously makes commercial sense for our developments to be welcomed by the surrounding residents – but we are also committed to preserving our wonderful history and making improvements that will benefit future generations.
“There is clearly a cost attached to restoring such historic buildings, which were not in the greatest of conditions, but we know the end result will be worth it – not least because five new households can soon own their own little piece of British industrial history.”
Peter James Homes has poured significant amounts of research, collaboration and sympathetic construction techniques into the renovation works, with each step recorded in detail and agreed with planners and heritage experts at Amber Valley Borough Council.
All roofs and roof trusses have been completely replaced, and leaking stonework fully repointed with lime mortar.
The project was initially slow to begin as the developer needed to work alongside Natural England after nesting bats were discovered in both buildings. Local ecologists have since been drafted in to help with the installation of new bat boxes.
Tom Anderson, Senior Site Manager for Peter James Homes’ Woodland Heights development, said: “It’s been a labour of love.
“To ensure we remain sympathetic to the rich history of these buildings, some elements have been quite challenging, and we’ve had to employ very different construction techniques to those we use on our new-build properties.”
To find out more about the Woodlands Heights development, please visit www.peterjameshomes.co.uk/developments/. To book a site visit, contact Bagshaws Residential in Derby on 01332 361308.