Regeneration developer makes progress on target to sell 2,000 plots per year

Listed regeneration developer Harworth increased house plot sales by 62% last year as it ramped up activity ahead of its target to double its net value.

Harworth chief executive Lynda Shillaw, announcing annual results for the 2021 calendar year, said the firm sold 1,411 plots to housebuilders in the year, up from 873 in 2020 and nearly two thirds above its six-year average of 862, as it delivered “a step change” in residential plot sales.

ironbridge-cgi-1 Harworth Group

Harworth’s plans for the redevelopment of the former Ironbridge power station

Harworth, which acts as a master developer of large sites, often of former industrial land, in the Midlands and the North, has a target to increase plot sales to 2,000 per year.

The firm is also committed to directly developing build to rent housing on its land, and Shillaw said the firm will launch its first portfolio this year. Last year the business hired former Engie investments boss James Crow as head of mixed tenure to oversee the development and launch of Harworth’s build to rent platform.

The business, which claims a 30,804-home residential pipeline, said it received permission 1,000 homes at its Ironbridge power station site in 2021, plus permission for a further 500 homes across a number of smaller sites.

Harworth overall reported a pre-tax profit of £127m, on revenue of £110m, with the profit figure boosted by positive revaluations of the firm’s landholdings. The valuation of the company, under the scenario of an orderly sale of the business – known as EPRA NDV – rose to £638m from £516m in 2020 – against a long-term target to increase this figure to £1bn.