Aida Bliss site
We are currently working to redevelop the site of the Aida Bliss factory on City Road for affordable homes. This is a great opportunity to bring a derelict site back into use. We will be investing in high quality design that respects the character of the Little Chester Conservation Area and the prominent position by the River Derwent. The aim is to retain the Victorian façade and incorporate it into the new homes.
We are currently working on site investigations and surveys, with a view to producing designs over the next few months. We aim to secure planning permission in 2021, with construction in 2022 and 2023.
We have worked already with the Darley Neighbourhood Board’s planning sub-group, as well as through the Little Chester Residents Association and consultation meetings for Our City Our River. We would welcome further discussions with residents or anyone with an interest in the site, to make sure we provide new homes that Derby can really be proud of.
Our professional team is focussing on flood risk and mapping the latest data supplied by the Environment Agency, so that we can understand how we need to design the scheme in response to this.
Frequently asked questions
We plan to start building on site in early 2022, though we may start some demolition and groundworks in late 2021.
Not completely. We plan to retain the current brick facade that faces onto City Road and incorporate it with the new homes. Although it is not listed, it contributes to the character of the Little Chester Conservation Area and is part of Derby's industrial heritage. However, this will be subject to structural surveys.
The site is protected by the new flood walls constructed as part of Our City Our River. However, it is still classed as being in a flood zone. We need to design the buildings so residents would be kept safe in the event of a very severe flood that overtopped the defences. We will be working closely with the Environment Agency on this.
We have a specific policy as part of our Local Plan to regenerate sites by the River Derwent, including for new homes, and this approach has been taken successfully with other sites in Derby.
The expectation is that when the site is redeveloped, the wall will be clad with materials in keeping with the new homes. In the event the new development does not take place by 2023, there is a planning condition that means the Council would have to return and clad the wall at that stage.
The new flood defence is now fully watertight - the cladding will simply be to improve the appearance.
Like many sites that have previously been used for industry, there is some contamination of the ground that we will need to deal with. There are tried and tested methods to do this, which may involve digging out some of the ground and bringing in clean soil to make it ready to build new homes. There is a robust process to make sure there will be no risk to people living in the new homes.
Council housing is financed separately from other council services. All the rents from council homes and all the money spent on them pass through our Housing Revenue Account, which we are required by law to keep separate from our General Fund.
We can borrow money against the future rents from the new homes (like getting a mortgage to build a new house). We can also use funding from the sale of Council homes under the Right to Buy. We have to either use this Right to Buy funding on new homes, or pay it to the Government.
The cost of borrowing is very low, and council housing saves money for taxpayers in the long term, so this is a good time to invest in new homes.
For more information please contact: Michael Gillie, Housing Regeneration Manager, The Council House, Corporation Street, Derby. DE1 2FS. email firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone 01332 643480.