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Oughtibridge, Sheffield, UK, CEG

OPEN was appointed to prepare a masterplan for this brownfield site to the North of Sheffield. Situated on the banks of the River Don and within a Green Belt and historic woodland setting the 14ha site has fantastic potential to create a characterful new place but also exhibits a range of technical challenges.

Formerly Spring Grove Paper Mill, the site employed thousands of people at its peak but ceased paper production in 2007 and ultimately closed in 2015. CEG purchased the site and secured an outline consent for the residential development of the site to provide around 300 new homes and apartments.

Development of the complex site involves addressing a range of environmental and infrastructure constraints such as extensive flooding and level changes as well as an interface with a major highway on the periphery of the site. OPEN have been working closely with the wider technical team to refine the approach to development and access. This has involved designing out a number of cost elements that have been inhibiting delivery of the original permission.

Through a responsive and detailed design approach the masterplan now retains a greater proportion of the existing tree cover, works more closely with natural site levels and sets up a new positive relationship between the development and the river edge.

The proposals also include the retention and refurbishment of characterful existing structures, increasing the range of uses and overall development potential on the site. These focus around a new riverside square, providing a dramatic arrival point into the new community.

OPEN have advised the client in relation to the marketing and disposal of development parcels, engaging with a range of housebuilders and their technical advisors.