Project:  Damstead Park – Alfreton

Client Background and Project Brief:

Planning & Design Practice secured outline planning consent for up to 149 new homes, public open space and wildlife areas at land at Damstead Park, off Each Well Lane, Alfreton, Derbyshire.

Problems to Solve:

Over a 12-month period we developed the proposals from an initial feasibility appraisal, to developing concepts, preparing a master plan, consulting the community, negotiating with the local authority and finally preparing and submitting a comprehensive outline planning application.  A high quality design was sought involving new public realm and landmark buildings.  The scheme also involved improvements to the local road network, expertly designed by Bancroft Consulting.

Project Outcome:

Following the grant of outline planning permission in 2014 the site was acquired by Avant Homes and the last houses are due to be completed in 2019. The site has been very popular due to its desirable setting adjacent to Wingfield Road. Alfreton also has very good transport links with a railway station and close proximity to the A38 and M1, making it popular with those commuting to Derby, Nottingham, Sheffield and other commercial centres.

Site Description:

The site is located south west of the market town of Alfreton, between Alfreton Park and the A38.

Design Concept at Damstead Park:

The design is intended to suggest a parkland in character, and reflect a North American influence in honour of local character Robert Watchorn.

Born in Alfreton in 1859, Watchorn was an English-American coal miner, union leader, immigration commissioner, businessman, and philanthropist.

Emigrating to the USA when he was 22, Watchorn initially found a job in the coal mines of the Pittsburgh area. He subsequently as an Immigration Commissioner at Ellis Island and the U.S.–Canada border. In his later years, Watchorn worked in the oil business and amassed a sizable fortune.

Damstead Park features a number of American influenced character areas, including a tree lined avenue, a crescent overlooking green space and retaining trees as focal points.

The intention was to honour Watchorn with a little piece of the USA in Alfreton.

Key Contacts:

Jon Milhouse, Director – Chartered Town Planner, Planning & Design Practice Ltd

Richard Pigott, Director – Chartered Town Planner, Planning & Design Practice Ltd