Skipton has been deprived of commercial development in recent years, while the flood-prone nature of some of the area also made new housing developments infrequent too. So, when a great site became available in 2011 which had the capacity to deliver both, we knew that this would be a prime development opportunity for HBD.
We wanted to create an alternative scheme at Wyvern Park, responding directly to the demands of its surroundings. Initially we were eyeing a supermarket for the site, but we revised our plans and secured planning for a two-fold development of industrial space coupled with much needed housing for the local area, connected with a significant amount of public open space.
Unlocking the site
Land supply in Skipton is notoriously short so we knew we had to innovate. Detailed designs were put in motion, with planning then secured for a mix of employment uses and housing – demonstrating the versatility of the land.
With this in place we started to realise our vision for the site, unlocking the land and using our vast experience to deliver ground works. We started with utilities works, and then building a link road, including a new crossing connecting Carleton Road with the A629 Skipton bypass and a new roundabout on the A629, providing access to Wyvern Park and significantly improving connectivity to the site.
This vast infrastructure programme created a connected space that would be highly suitable for both housing and commercial use – enabling HBD to create a superb offering for both sectors of the market.
It paved the way for a land sale, with developer Bellway Homes acquiring 18 acres on which they are developing 189 hotly anticipated homes.
As part of the collaboration of landowners at the start, we also agreed to sell a 4-acre portion of the enabled land to a local Skipton developer to create some smaller industrial units for employment, and in March 2023 we sold a 2.5acre plot to local builders merchant JT Atkinson in a deal that will create a range of new jobs with the creation of a new 12,500 sq ft warehouse unit. This Skipton branch of the business will be its 35th across the North of England, providing a link between its existing branches in Settle and Ilkley.
Unlocking this land, delivering the utilities and infrastructure works has enabled us to create a scheme which has the widest possible appeal to different sectors. The purchasers who’ve bought the land so far have already seen the huge potential in the road connections and the site’s proximity to Skipton town centre.
It’s become a space for all, and that means new green areas that can be enjoyed by the entire community. We made a significant investment here, creating a pond, a walking route, and delivering a state-of-the-art play area which is integrated into the local countryside and features highly sustainable natural and recyclable materials.
There is much potential at Wyvern Park and, working closely with Craven Council, we are developing more ideas to bring forward the remaining space in a variety of imaginative and creative ways.