Residential land agents at Harris Lamb have sold the former Swinden Technology Centre in Rotherham to Keepmoat Homes for almost £6million.

Acting on behalf of Tata Steel (UK) Ltd, the business was tasked with disposing of the 16-acre site, formerly used as the main research facility in the UK involved in the evolution of steel and alloy products.

Historically, the site contained two substantial Victorian manor houses surrounded by walled gardens and landscaping, which are now Listed and form part of the new proposal for residential homes.

Following major demolition and remediation of the site , Keepmoat Homes will be building 172 new homes and converting the Listed buildings to 27 apartments.

The new scheme has been carefully designed to incorporate the key features of the site, and will include renovating the original gate house, and retaining the tree lined approaches and the original Victorian landscaping features and design.

The new development will see Keepmoat deliver over £70m of new investment to the area over the next three years , providing almost 200 high quality new homes, of which eight will be for affordable housing.

Chris Jones, Director, said: “Opportunities such as this site , with its original Victorian layout and fully walled and original landscaped features, rarely come to market – particularly for residential housing, and we are delighted to have overseen this sale after many months of liaison.

“All parties involved including Keepmoat Homes, Tata UK Ltd, the Local Planning Authority and many associated consultants have played a large part in making this site what will clearly be a huge success.

“It is clear from the interest from the general public throughout the consultation and planning process, that demand to purchase and live in this unique location is significant, and we look forward to seeing the completed residential scheme come to fruition.”

Ben Hindley, Head of Land and Partnerships for Keepmoat Homes, said: “We are thrilled to have secured this very special site, and look forward to developing it and creating a superb collection of homes and apartments for the people of Rotherham.

“We place a great deal of importance of respecting the heritage of a site, and once complete, this site will provide both high quality housing and a lasting tribute to the Centre’s history.”

From 1948, Swinden Technology Centre had a major influence on products for most manufacturing processes , particularly in the growing aviation industry and – at the time – new jet engines. Following more than 70 years at the forefront of research, the now old facility was closed, with new joint research ventures agreed with several Universities.