Flats plan revealed for former Chesterfield magistrates’ court

Former Chesterfield magistrates' court

This week’s news round-up reports on new plans to transform the former magistrates’ court in Chesterfield, Government action over development plans for Bolsover and North East Derbyshire, a consultation about a new roundabout on the A61 and more. (Editor’s note: Sadly, this is the last news round-up that I’ll be publishing for the foreseeable future. I’m stopping writing the blog due to other commitments, but it may return at some point. Many thanks to all those who’ve read and supported the blog.)

The derelict former magistrates’ court in Chesterfield could be turned into apartments, it has been revealed.

Plans have been submitted to Chesterfield Borough Council to transform the building, called Knightsbridge Court, into 32 apartments.

The proposals would see a change of use from offices to residential at the listed building on West Bars, along with internal alterations to create the apartments.

Earlier this year, it emerged that the building, pictured above, was being used as a drugs den and the council intervened to ask the owner to take urgent action.

The new plans have been submitted by Den Architecture Ltd and would see 14 one-bedroom flats and 18 two-bedroom flats built over three storeys.

One of the planning documents said the building had suffered sustained vandalism, arson attempts and extensive damage over the last year.

It said: “If a use is not found immediately, the property is vulnerable to the elements and stands at a risk of rapid deterioration beyond the point of no return.

“An extensive marketing and media campaign was launched to sell the property at a significant discount, initial enquiries dwindled without any success and currently there is only one residential developer who has made a conditional exchange offer subject to receiving this planning permission.”

The building has stood empty for around seven years and previously received planning permission for office, retail and leisure use.

Read more…

Government housing intervention

Bolsover and North East Derbyshire district councils have been named among 15 local authorities in England where the Government is considering action over housing plans.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announced today that the authorities were among those which had failed to produce Local Plans – which set out where new developments should be built.

The 15 councils have now been served notice that the Government has begun the formal process of intervention, which will give them until the end of January to explain why they have not yet published Local Plans.

Mr Javid said: “Whilst some councils are recognising their responsibilities and stepping up to meet the housing challenge, too many are still not acting. That’s why I’m stepping in now to make sure they act.”

A spokesman for Bolsover and North East Derbyshire councils said: “We are aware of the comments from the Secretary of State and we have been and continue to be in dialogue with them over the delivery of our Local Plan.”

He added that a timetable for the Bolsover Local Plan had now been agreed, which would see the new document adopted by November next year, subject to Planning Inspectorate timetabling.

Read more…

New A61 roundabout

Local people can have their say about plans for a new roundabout on the A61 in Wingerworth, as part of a major housing and employment development.

Derbyshire County Council is holding three drop-in sessions about the proposed roundabout and a new road to serve The Avenue development – where two planning applications by Taylor Wimpey were approved last month.

The new roundabout would be built at the junction of Nottingham Drive and the A61, while the Mill Lane junction with the A61 would be closed off.

A detailed planning application for the roundabout is expected to be submitted next year and residents are being urged to attend one of three drop-in sessions this month.

Read more…

Other politics news from Derbyshire this week includes:

  • Chesterfield’s Winding Wheel venue will have £426,000 spent on it to improve facilities for customers – after the project was approved on Tuesday. Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet backed the scheme, which will see a new entrance area created with a café bar and new toilets.
  • North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley has secured a 30-minute debate in Parliament next Wednesday about the potential effect of fracking in the constituency. The Westminster Hall debate will discuss the plans by Ineos for exploratory drilling at Bramleymoor Lane, which Mr Rowley opposes.
  • New plans to build 12 homes at The Shrubberies in Chesterfield could be approved by Chesterfield Borough Council’s planning committee on Monday. In January, the committee refused proposals for 13 dwellings at the Newbold Road site because of concerns about the loss of The Shrubberies building and loss of protected trees – but the demolition of the 19th Century building was later approved.
  • A by-election will take place on 7th December to elect two councillors for Tupton Parish Council. Those standing for election are June Hancock (Lib Dem), David Anthony Parmley (Lab), Ifte Shaikh (Lab) and Keith Windley (Lib Dem).
  • Derbyshire County Council has strengthened its links with China with a formal agreement designed to boost tourism, business, culture and education. Council leader Coun Barry Lewis signed the agreement with Li Guoying, governor of East China’s Anhui province, during a trip to China earlier this month.
  • Chesterfield residents can get in the Christmas spirit on Sunday when the annual lights switch-on event takes place. A special market will take place from noon offering entertainment, stalls and rides, before the lights are switched on at 4.45pm.

Former council offices to be demolished in homes plans

Former NEDDC offices

This week’s news round-up looks at plans to build retirement apartments at the former North East Derbyshire District Council offices in Chesterfield, proposals for 300 homes at the Creswell Colliery site, a refurbishment at Chesterfield’s Winding Wheel venue and more.

The former headquarters of North East Derbyshire District Council could be demolished under plans to build retirement homes at the Chesterfield town centre site.

Developers McCarthy and Stone are proposing to knock down the large building on Saltergate, pictured above, and construct Extra Care accommodation for elderly people.

The plans have now been submitted to Chesterfield Borough Council and include 64 retirement apartments, along with landscaped gardens, a restaurant, laundrette and 32 car parking spaces.

North East Derbyshire District Council was based at the building until 2015 when it moved to new headquarters in Wingerworth.

The planning application says there would be 33 one-bedroom apartments and 31 two-bedroom apartments, built over four storeys.

The plans state: “In providing much needed accommodation for the elderly population, the proposed development will optimise the use of this site, whilst also supporting local businesses.

“The site is ideally located for this type of Extra Care, being close to the amenities of Chesterfield town centre, and would meet an identified specialised housing need in the East Midlands area.”

It is proposed that 11 full-time and 12 part-time jobs would be created there, and the plans include staff sleepover accommodation to allow for 24-hour assistance for residents.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins welcomed the proposals last month, saying he had been concerned that the building could lie empty for years.

Read more…

Creswell Colliery plans

Proposals to build around 300 homes at the former Creswell Colliery site have been revealed.

Planning and Design Group (UK) Ltd is proposing to submit an outline planning application on behalf of Welbeck Estates for the 300 homes, along with employment units and a convenience shop.

Before submitting the application, the company has asked Bolsover District Council for a “screening opinion” on whether an Environmental Impact Assessment is needed as part of the plans.

The proposals for the 13 hectare site include improvements to Colliery Road and the creation of public open spaces.

In May, plans were approved by the council for Gleeson Developments Ltd to build 197 homes on land adjoining this site.

Read more…

Winding Wheel refurbishment

Chesterfield’s Winding Wheel venue could have a £426,000 refurbishment to improve its facilities.

Chesterfield Borough Council is proposing to spend the money on upgrading its ground floor areas, including the renovation of the foyer, box office and public toilets.

The improvements would also include creating a new café bar in the foyer and extending the entrance area by incorporating the vacant glasses shop next to the Winding Wheel.

The scheme is expected to be approved by the council’s cabinet next week and the work is proposed to be carried out next summer, when the building would be closed for around eight weeks.

A cabinet report said: “The overall purpose of the investment is to improve the welcome of the Winding Wheel and to give it modern improved facilities on the ground floor.”

Read more…

Other politics news from Derbyshire this week includes:

  • A £4.86m project to improve the Whittington Moor roundabout in Chesterfield could start in the New Year. Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet is expected to approve the appointment of Balfour Beatty as the contractor for the work – which aims to reduce accidents at the busy roundabout.
  • A by-election could be held after the resignation of a Brimington Parish councillor. Coun Christine Brown has left the parish council, where she represented Brimington North, and a by-election will be held if ten voters from the local area request it.
  • Applications for infant, junior and primary school places for next September will open on Monday. Derbyshire County Council says parents must complete their applications by the deadline of 15th January.
  • Young people in Derbyshire who want to make a difference in their communities have until 20th November to stand for election as youth councillors. The Derbyshire Youth Council is made up of 57 young people between the ages of 11 and 18 and voting will take place next March.
  • Local residents will remember those who have lost their lives in war at events this weekend, organised by Chesterfield Borough Council. An event will take place at the war memorial opposite the Town Hall at 11am on Saturday and the annual remembrance service will take place at the Crooked Spire church at 2.30pm on Sunday.
  • People can bag a bargain at the annual charity auction for North East Derbyshire District Council later this month. The auction will take place on 28th November at the council’s main offices and will support charities the Spinal Cord Injury Centre in Sheffield and the Elm Foundation.

Plans approved for new Lidl store in Chesterfield

Lidl Chesterfield

This week’s news round-up features a new Lidl supermarket that has won planning approval this week, a marketing campaign for the Bolsover district, HS2 concerns being raised at Prime Minister’s Questions and more.

A new Lidl supermarket is set to be built in Chesterfield after the plans were given the go-ahead this week.

Chesterfield Borough Council’s planning committee approved proposals on Monday for the new store on Chatsworth Road, where Perrys Ford dealership is currently based.

Under the plans, the existing Lidl at the junction of Foljambe Road and Chatsworth Road, pictured above, would be closed just before the new, larger store opens.

Lidl said its proposed new supermarket would allow it to sell its full range of products and “provide a more spacious and attractive shopping environment for residents of Chesterfield in a conveniently accessible location.”

The plans for the new store include 143 car parking spaces, access from both Chatsworth Road and Factory Street and the retention of a former Sunday school building on the site.

On its website about the proposed new store, Lidl said the existing supermarket had been operational since 1997 and was small compared to its newer buildings, while the car park was too small for customer demand.

It said the existing Lidl could not be expanded on its current site because of surrounding buildings and roads.

The plans will see the demolition of the current Perrys Ford buildings on Chatsworth Road but the company is due to move to a new base on land opposite Alma Leisure Park, which is now under construction.

Read more…

Bolsover marketing campaign

New videos to promote the district of Bolsover to investors, businesses and tourists are set to be created as part of a marketing campaign.

Bolsover District Council’s executive is expected to approve spending £25,000 at a meeting next week, on the creation of videos and other marketing materials.

A council report said there would be an introductory video of up to 60 seconds long, including drone footage and animation, and more in-depth ones on subjects such as tourism, business and leisure.

The authority is planning to pay for adverts to promote the district and produce booklets about each of the four main town centres – Bolsover, Clowne, Shirebrook and South Normanton.

An extra edition of the council’s newspaper, Intouch, is also being proposed each year to help publicise the work of the authority.

The council report said: “To also assist with the promotion of the district, it is felt that by increasing the number of editions of Intouch from three to four per year would add weight and provide an additional medium for us to ‘spread the message’ about what we are doing within the district and to our local communities.”

Read more…

Prime Minister’s Questions

Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner has hit out at plans for the HS2 route through his constituency, claiming that people in the north were being treated like “second-class citizens”.

At Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, the veteran MP claimed that research into the route showed that in the south, nearly 30% of the line would be in tunnels to avoid knocking down houses.

But he said the figure was only 2% for the north of England and called for action to be taken to avoid 30 houses being knocked down in the village of Newton because of the HS2 line.

In response, Prime Minister Theresa May said HS2 would increase the capacity of the railway lines going to the north.

Read more…

Other politics news from Derbyshire this week includes:

  • More than 200 people attended a meeting in Wingerworth to raise concerns about the number of planning applications submitted around the village. The meeting last week was organised by Wingerworth Parish Council and attended by North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley and local councillors.
  • Chesterfield music venue The Avenue will remain open subject to meeting conditions to improve safety for staff and customers. Chesterfield Borough Council’s licensing committee decided yesterday to impose certain health and safety requirements on the Beetwell Street venue in order for it to stay open.
  • Local people have until next week to give their views on what Derbyshire County Council’s budget priorities should be for next year. An online consultation asking residents about what services are important to them and where they would spend money will close on 12th November.
  • Progress has been made in tackling anti-social behaviour in Chesterfield town centre, according to a group set up to deal with the problem. A second Town Centre Summit has been held by a range of organisations and Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa said he could already see “a noticeable difference on the streets”.
  • Sporty residents who use leisure centres run by North East Derbyshire District Council are being asked to complete a survey about the facilities. The council wants to get feedback from customers about its centres in Dronfield, Eckington and Clay Cross.
  • The skies above Chesterfield are set to be lit up on Sunday as Chesterfield Borough Council’s annual firework extravaganza is held. The event takes place at Stand Road Park on 5th November from 4pm, with the fireworks due to start at 7pm.

Almost 250 homes at Avenue site set to get go-ahead

NEDDC sign

This week’s news round-up covers plans for new homes at The Avenue site in Wingerworth which could win approval next week, new boundary proposals for MPs in North Derbyshire, tenancy changes for council tenants in Chesterfield and more. (Editor’s note: There will be no round-up published next week, as it’s the school holidays, but it will return the following week.)

Two planning applications for almost 250 new homes at The Avenue site in Wingerworth are expected to be given the go-ahead next week.

On Tuesday, North East Derbyshire District Council’s planning committee will consider two applications by Taylor Wimpey UK Ltd for land off Derby Road in Wingerworth.

The first one is a full application for 111 homes with car parking, new access roads and public open spaces.

And the second outline application is for up to 136 dwellings and a retail unit, along with a new roundabout at the junction of Derby Road and Nottingham Drive, which would allow a new access road to be built into the site.

The land owned by Taylor Wimpey is next to the former Avenue coking works, where plans for 252 homes by Kier Living Limited were approved in June – for the first phase of development at the large site.

Phase A of Taylor Wimpey’s scheme includes 111 properties of two, three and four bedrooms, which would be up to three storeys high.

The planning report said: “The proposed development would offer a high standard of design that would be in keeping with the character and appearance of the surrounding area.”

Both applications have been recommended for approval by the planning committee.

Read more…

Boundary Commission changes

Boundary changes which could have seen the constituency of North East Derbyshire disappear have been scrapped under new proposals.

The Boundary Commission for England suggested last year that the constituency be broken up and a new Alfreton and Clay Cross constituency be created, as part of moves to cut the number of MPs.

But its latest proposals now say the constituency, currently held by Conservative Lee Rowley, should match the same boundaries as North East Derbyshire District Council – after concerns were raised by local politicians.

In Bolsover, where Dennis Skinner is the MP, the latest plans are for a constituency covering the whole of the Bolsover district, along with Alfreton, Somercotes, Swanwick, and the Lowgates and Woodthorpe ward from Chesterfield district.

The Boundary Commission is also proposing that the constituency of Chesterfield, held by Labour’s Toby Perkins, would be expanded to include Barrow Hill and New Whittington.

A consultation on the new proposals will run until 11th December and the aim is to introduce the new boundaries at the next general election – although there are doubts on whether MPs will agree the plans.

Read more…

Chesterfield council home repairs

Council tenants will have to carry out minor repairs to their homes themselves under changes proposed by Chesterfield Borough Council.

The authority has launched a consultation on changes to tenancy agreements which would see tenants carrying out minor repairs themselves, such as changing lightbulbs or resetting switches – rather than the housing repairs service doing the work.

Other proposed changes include carrying out routine maintenance within 30 days of it being reported, rather than 20 days as at present.

Coun Helen Bagley, cabinet member for homes and customers, said: “Without changes such as these we would not be able to make savings and be able to continue to invest in our homes such as new heating, bathrooms or kitchens. Emergency repairs will be unaffected by the proposed changes.”

The consultation takes place until 3rd December and information events will take place across the borough before then.

Read more…

Other politics news from Derbyshire this week includes:

  • Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner has spoken at Prime Minister’s Questions about problems with water discolouration on the Oxcroft estate in the town. Local people feared the problems could be connected to seismic testing by Ineos – but Severn Trent Water said the discolouration was believed to have been caused by a burst water pipe and Ineos said there was no evidence of any link to its work.
  • Local building firms are being invited to a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event to find out how they can tender for work on a new housing development in Chesterfield. William Davis Ltd has planning permission for 99 homes at Dunston Lane as the first phase of a larger development and an event will be held at Chesterfield Town Hall on 2nd November, so local businesses can find out more.
  • Plans for a major retail, hotel and employment development in South Normanton have been submitted to Bolsover District Council. Limes Developments Ltd has submitted a full application for the front part of the land at Wincobank Farm off Cartwright Lane, which would include a hotel, retail units and restaurants. A second outline application for the rear of the site has also been submitted for warehouse units and possibly a gym.
  • Residents in Bolsover and North East Derbyshire districts will see their burgundy recycling bins collected by a new company, Wards Recycling Ltd, from 1st November. The authorities have signed a new seven-year contract with the firm and say the move will save about £100,000 for each council.
  • A blue plaque could be installed at the entrance to Ringwood Hall Hotel in Brimington after a planning application was submitted. Chesterfield Civic Society wants the plaque put up to recognise that the building was once home to Charles Paxton Markham, who was an ironmaster, coal-owner, engineer and former Mayor of Chesterfield.
  • Visitors to Chesterfield town centre next week can enjoy a range of events at the town’s annual Market Festival. The festival takes place from Thursday to Sunday and includes a Crooked Spire exhibition, beer festival, ghost walks and craft workshops.

New plans revealed for former Bolsover council offices

Bolsover Council sign 1

This week’s news round-up looks at plans for a new retail development at the old Bolsover District Council headquarters, new powers to tackle anti-social behaviour in Chesterfield town centre, a proposed housing development at the former offices of the East Midlands Chamber and more.

A major retail development could be built at the former headquarters of Bolsover District Council, after new plans for the site were revealed.

Developers Rothstone Estates will hold a public exhibition in the town tomorrow about their proposed scheme, which could create up to 200 full and part-time jobs.

Under the plans, a mid-sized food store and four smaller retail units could be built at the Sherwood Lodge site and the developers said they are in discussions with potential retailers.

Bolsover District Council moved from Sherwood Lodge in 2013 to a new base at The Arc in Clowne, pictured above.

Supermarket giant Morrisons has owned the site since 2014, with the aim of building a new store on the land – but the company later decided against the development.

Mark Rothery, managing director of Rothstone Estates, said: “Local people will know that a planning approval already exists for a single large supermarket and petrol station on this site.

“We’ve taken a fresh look at this and to reflect changes in the retail market, we are instead proposing a new mid-sized food store and four further retail units. We are no longer proposing a petrol station.

“This is a prominent site in the centre of Bolsover and our proposals could see a significant multi-million pound investment into the town.”

The exhibition takes place on Friday 13th October at Bolsover Assembly Hall from 12-7.30pm.

Read more…

Chesterfield town centre

Anti-social behaviour in Chesterfield town centre is set to be tackled after new enforcement powers were agreed by Chesterfield Borough Council.

The council’s cabinet approved the introduction of new Public Spaces Protection Orders for the town centre, after widespread support in a public consultation.

The new rules will tackle behaviour such as drinking alcohol on the streets, loitering with the aim of begging for money, urinating or defecating in the streets and other nuisance behaviour.

Anyone breaching the order will face prosecution or be given a £100 fixed penalty notice.

Coun Chris Ludlow, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “These new orders are designed to give the law-abiding majority the right to use and enjoy public spaces safe from anti-social behaviour.”

Before the orders take effect, an agreement will be drawn up between the authority and the police about enforcing the orders and the council will recruit two new enforcement officers.

Read more…

Former East Midlands Chamber offices

Plans to build housing at the former base of the East Midlands Chamber in Chesterfield have been given the go-ahead.

The outline proposals for a residential development at the Canal Wharf site were approved by Chesterfield Borough Council’s planning committee on Monday.

The plans include retaining and converting the 19th Century building Thornfield House, which was originally proposed for demolition, after concerns were raised by Chesterfield Civic Society and other groups.

Other buildings on the site would be demolished as part of the proposals and around 27 new houses built there.

Read more…

Other politics news from Derbyshire this week includes:

  • Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has welcomed plans to transform a former council office in the town into 64 retirement apartments. A public exhibition has been held by developers McCarthy and Stone about their proposals for the former headquarters of North East Derbyshire District Council on Saltergate, which would include landscaped gardens, a restaurant, laundrette and lounge.
  • Clay Cross and Bolsover jobcentres are due to shut in the coming weeks, as part of a programme of closures by the Department for Work and Pensions. The DWP announced plans to close the jobcentres earlier this year and the Clay Cross branch will shut its doors on 27th October, while the Bolsover one is due to close on 3rd November.
  • Chesterfield Borough Council has backed a national campaign to allow young people to vote from the age of 16. At a full council meeting yesterday, councillors agreed to back the drive to lower the voting age, after a question by a member of the public.
  • Residents in Wingerworth have until Monday to have their say about a proposed Neighbourhood Plan, setting out how the parish could be developed until 2033. North East Derbyshire District Council is carrying out the six-week consultation so people can give their views on the document, after which it will be examined by an independent inspector.
  • Parents have until the end of this month to apply for secondary school places for their children from next September. The deadline for applications is 31st October and parents of year six pupils in Derbyshire are being urged to ensure they apply on time.
  • Sporty people from Bolsover and North East Derbyshire were honoured last week as each district held their annual sports awards. Athletes, clubs and school pupils from North East Derbyshire were recognised at a ceremony at the council’s offices last Wednesday, then the Bolsover awards were held at Sports Direct in Shirebrook last Friday.

Chesterfield station area ‘to be transformed’ by HS2 plans

Chesterfield train station

This week’s news round-up features a major report on the benefits of HS2 to Chesterfield and Staveley, the sale of a Chesterfield town centre building, an update on new council homes in the Bolsover district and more.

The area around Chesterfield train station could be transformed as part of a boost to the town from the proposed HS2 line.

A major document about the opportunities presented by the high-speed trains said improved links between Chesterfield town centre and the station would be created.

This includes ensuring the train station is “an attractive gateway to the town”, with a redesigned route over the A61 to the town centre and developing unused land around the station to connect it with the Waterside development.

In July, the Government confirmed its preferred route for the eastern leg of HS2, which would see high-speed trains serve Chesterfield from a spur off the main HS2 line onto the existing rail network.

A new East Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy has been released this week, compiled by council and business leaders, to highlight how the high speed network could add thousands of jobs and billions of pounds to the region’s economy.

It identifies a North Derbyshire Growth Zone around Chesterfield and Staveley – where there would be a proposed HS2 maintenance depot at the former Staveley Works, along with a wider employment and housing development.

The report proposes the Staveley depot is also used as an HS2 construction base and asks the Government for funds towards the early phases of the proposed Chesterfield-Staveley Regeneration Route and the Station Link Road.

It says: “The Infrastructure Maintenance Depot at Staveley and the ability to serve Chesterfield with high speed trains will have a transformational impact on the Derbyshire economy.

“We have set out a comprehensive approach to integrating Chesterfield station and associated development areas into the town, enhancing its role as a gateway to the Peak District National Park and accelerating the regeneration of the Staveley corridor and key surrounding sites.”

But residents living near the spur line are unhappy with the proposed route, including in the village of Newton – where HS2 has bought up homes on a new-build estate.

Read more…

Chesterfield building sale

Chesterfield Borough Council has agreed the sale of a Grade II Listed town centre building for an undisclosed sum.

The authority has agreed to sell 87 New Square, which is partly used as council offices and also houses the Afro Caribbean Community Association (ACCA).

Information about the office building on the council’s website said offers in excess of £300,000 were invited.

It said: “The building is to be sold freehold with vacant possession, subject to the council vacating the second floor offices in 2018 and alternative premises being found for ACCA.”

The council currently occupies the second floor of the property, along with ground and first floor server rooms, while the ACCA leases a number of rooms on the first floor.

A council spokesman said the authority was aiming to base its staff at fewer sites in the town centre and the building would be brought back into use – but could not give further details about the sale.

Read more…

Bolsover council homes

Bolsover District Council is on track to deliver 100 new council homes by March 2019, according to a report.

The B@Home project across the district has seen three developments of new homes completed, two currently under construction and 10 other sites at various stages of planning.

A report for the council’s executive next week said the sites would deliver 93 new homes at a total cost of around £12m.

The authority has also identified six other sites in Pinxton and South Normanton where 21 properties could be built in total and a further six homes that could be constructed in Shirebrook, Bolsover and Clowne.

Read more…

Other politics news from Derbyshire this week includes:

  • Derbyshire County Council is asking residents to help shape its budget for 2018/19 as part of a six-week consultation. The authority says its savings target for the year ahead is £22m and people are being asked which services should have more money spent on them and which should have less.
  • North East Derbyshire District Council now has a five-year supply of deliverable housing land, according to a cabinet report. An assessment of housing need in the district said 283 homes should be built each year and the council can now show it has enough deliverable sites – making it easier for the authority to refuse certain planning applications.
  • A petition calling for better access for disabled people in Chesterfield town centre will be debated at a Chesterfield Borough Council meeting next week. More than 1,000 people signed the petition, which proposes introducing wheelchair ramps at the side of the market to provide better surfaces and widening the gaps between market stalls.
  • Plans for environmental improvements at the northern part of the London Boroughs Estate in Barrow Hill have been given the go-ahead. Chesterfield Borough Council wants to make improvements to roads, parking areas, street lighting, paving and boundaries, and the work is the first phase of a wider scheme planned for the estate.
  • A new shopping bus service run by Derbyshire County Council has taken to the road this week. The Derbyshire Connect buses replace the Dial-a-Bus services previously run by six community transport groups and journeys will be free to Gold Card holders.
  • Green-fingered Chesterfield residents and businesses are celebrating after being recognised in the Chesterfield in Bloom awards. The annual awards were held by Chesterfield Borough Council at Ringwood Hall Hotel and the top prize for the best overall garden went to Barry and Maureen Lomas.

Chesterfield council considers sprinklers in flats after Grenfell fire

Chesterfield Town Hall

This week’s news round-up covers fire safety plans for council homes in Chesterfield after the Grenfell Tower fire, a conference speech by Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner, the result of a Chesterfield by-election and more.

Chesterfield Borough Council is considering installing sprinkler systems in its four and five storey blocks of flats, following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower.

A cabinet report says the council is looking into the move for future years, as part of fire safety measures after the tragedy in June.

The authority said that after the fire in London, its housing service team immediately sought to reassure tenants that all fire safety measures were up-to-date in its houses and flats.

This included confirming that all cladding installed on council housing in the borough was safe and of a different type to that reported to be on the Grenfell Tower – where around 80 people lost their lives.

At a cabinet meeting next week, councillors are expected to approve an updated housing services fire management policy, which ensures all regulations are complied with and aims to minimise the risk of fires to tenants.

The cabinet report said: “Consideration is being given to the installation of sprinkler systems in the council’s four and five storey blocks as part of the setting of the 2018/19 to 2023/24 housing capital programme, which will be brought to cabinet in February 2018.”

It added that a leaflet was currently being prepared for tenants about how to minimise the risk of fire and what actions they should take in the event of a fire.

The council’s fire policy will be updated annually or earlier if there are recommended changes to legislation after the Grenfell fire public inquiry.

Read more…

Labour Party conference

Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner was given a standing ovation after making a rousing speech at the Labour Party conference in Brighton on Monday.

The veteran MP, who has represented Bolsover since 1970, said it had been a tremendous year for Labour and the party’s manifesto “was the best since 1945”.

In the speech, Mr Skinner hit out at zero-hours contracts and spoke about Labour’s plans to renationalise the Royal Mail.

He said: “This is a tremendous conference and it’s been a tremendous year and it’s mainly because of the election of our new leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and all the people represented on the front bench.

“We had a manifesto that quite frankly, was the best since 1945 and I’ve lived long enough to remember reading that as a young lad taking papers round during the Second World War.”

The veteran MP added that money should be borrowed to improve the country, as happened in Britain after the Second World War.

Read more…

Holmebrook by-election result

The Liberal Democrats have picked up another seat on Chesterfield Borough Council after winning a by-election last week.

The by-election in the Holmebrook ward took place after former Labour councillor Stephen Hitchin stood down to focus on his family and medical career.

Keith Falconer took the seat for the Liberal Democrats with 510 votes, while Ron Mihaly for Labour gained 435 votes, Conservative Oliver Scheidt received 62 votes and Paul Stone for Chesterfield Independents gained 14 votes.

The political make-up of the council is now 37 Labour councillors, nine Liberal Democrats, one UKIP councillor and one independent councillor.

Read more…

Other politics news from Derbyshire this week includes:

  • Two planning applications for up to 260 new homes in Wingerworth have been delayed after concerns were raised about the capacity of the foul water network. The planning committee at North East Derbyshire District Council deferred a decision on proposals for up to 180 houses on land east of Deerlands Road and up to 80 homes at land opposite The Avenue Visitor Centre – so they could gain more information from Yorkshire Water.
  • Chesterfield Borough Council’s planning committee has given the go-ahead for a housing development of 99 homes on land to the west of Dunston Lane in Chesterfield. The plans by developer William Davis Ltd are for the first phase of a 300-home scheme, which gained outline permission last year.
  • A crackdown on taxis at East Midlands Airport found all those from the districts of Bolsover and North East Derbyshire met the required standards. Spot checks were carried out on more than 140 vehicles, to ensure they were being operated safely and legally, and 120 of these passed the test.
  • Chesterfield Borough Council can now impose fines on letting agents and property managers who are not signed up to a scheme to protect tenants. The authority said those who are not signed up to one of three Government approved schemes could be fined up to £5,000.
  • More than 10,000 people attended the Derbyshire Skills Festival earlier this month, which included an event at Chesterfield’s Queen’s Park Sports Centre. Three events were organised by Derbyshire County Council and Derby City Council, which aimed to guide students aged 15-19 in their career options.
  • Couples in Chesterfield who are celebrating 70 years of married life this year are being urged to contact the borough council. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh got married in November 1947 and Chesterfield mayor Coun Maureen Davenport would like to visit couples who were married in the same year, so she can present them with flowers to mark the occasion.


Plans revealed for 590 homes at Staveley Works site

Chesterfield Town Hall 1

This week’s news round-up looks at the regeneration of the former Staveley Works site moving forwards with a major housing plan, concerns by a local MP to the closure of a bank branch, a referendum on a masterplan for part of North East Derbyshire and more.

Plans for a major development of almost 600 homes at the former Staveley Works site have been submitted to Chesterfield Borough Council.

The proposals, by joint developers Saint-Gobain UK Ltd and Strawsons Property, include up to 590 homes, business units, convenience stores and a restaurant or pub.

Developers want to transform 55 hectares of land off Works Road, at the western side of the former industrial site, and the outline plans were submitted to the council earlier this month.

The former Staveley Works has been earmarked as the biggest development site in the area under the draft Chesterfield Local Plan, with a total of 1,500 new homes, along with new employment land and a proposed HS2 depot.

A document from the new application states: “The Staveley and Rother Valley is a strategically important redevelopment opportunity that will regenerate a large area of derelict, brownfield land into a thriving mixed use community within a landscaped setting.

“The Valley Masterplan has a vision to bring long term regeneration benefits to the local area, the Borough and the region through a set of principles that improve the social, economic and environmental conditions for existing and future residents, visitors and wildlife.”

The planning application states there would be 540 houses and 50 flats built at the site.

Other land at the eastern side of the Staveley Works site is owned by Chatsworth Settlement Trust, which is expected to submit its own planning application in late autumn.

Read more…

Bank closure concerns

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has said he is “hugely disappointed” about the upcoming closure of the NatWest branch in Staveley.

He chaired a meeting last week so residents and local businesses could raise their concerns about the closure with representatives from the bank.

Mr Perkins said: “I share the concerns raised at the meeting regarding the potential impact the closure will have on local businesses and the difficulties it will create for customers who are not confident with online banking.”

Bank customers will still be able to deposit and withdraw money at the Post Office in Staveley and a mobile bank will visit the area each week for other transactions. The bank has also deployed experts in the branch to help customers learn about online and telephone banking.

Jane Solomon, NatWest Local CEO, said: “We know how much the branch means to customers and the local community and did not take this decision lightly – it was as a result of a long-term change in the way our customers are banking with us and after careful consideration.”

The branch, on High Street, is due to close on 28th September.

Read more…

Holymoorside and Walton Neighbourhood Plan

A document which will guide future planning developments in the parish of Holymoorside and Walton is set to go to a public referendum later this year.

The Holymoorside and Walton Neighbourhood Plan has been put together by the parish council as a formal document, to help decide planning applications until 2033.

At a cabinet meeting next Wednesday, North East Derbyshire District Council is expected to approve the plan, subject to it being backed by local people in a referendum.

The date for the referendum has provisionally been set for 23rd November and people living in the parish will be able to vote for or against the neighbourhood plan – which will be adopted if more than 50% of voters support it.

Read more…

Other politics news from Derbyshire this week includes:

  • Demolition work has begun to allow the expansion of the Lidl supermarket at Whittington Moor. The company gained planning permission last October to extend its store and car park by demolishing two vacant houses on Avenue Road and two former shops on Sheffield Road – and the two homes have now been knocked down.
  • Derbyshire County Council will spend £15,000 on buying 10 defibrillators for its buildings across the county, after its deputy leader suffered a massive heart attack last month. Coun Simon Spencer collapsed in his office at County Hall following a cardiac arrest last month and quick-thinking staff came to his aid to perform CPR and restart his heart using a defibrillator.
  • Hundreds of people attended an anti-fracking march and rally on Saturday in protest at plans for exploratory drilling on land in the village of Marsh Lane. Demonstrators marched to an area near the proposed drilling site on Bramleymoor Lane to object to the planning application by chemicals firm Ineos.
  • The Sheffield City Region devolution deal has collapsed this week, after the leaders of Barnsley and Doncaster councils said they wanted to pursue the possibility of a Yorkshire-wide agreement instead. Chesterfield Borough Council withdrew from the scheme in June following a long-standing disagreement with Derbyshire County Council about joining the devolution deal.
  • Residents in the Holmebrook ward have been voting today for a new Chesterfield Borough councillor, following the resignation of former councillor Stephen Hitchin. Those standing for election are Keith Falconer (Lib Dem), Ron Mihaly (Lab), Oliver Scheidt (Con) and Paul Stone (Chesterfield Independents), and the result will be announced tonight.
  • Fans of Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner can watch a feature-length documentary about his life when it is shown in Chesterfield and Newton in the coming weeks. Dennis Skinner: Nature of the Beast will be shown at Newton Community Centre on 30th September at 7pm and at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre on 6th October at 11am and 2.30pm.

Locals object to plans for 400 homes in Clowne

Bolsover Council sign

This week’s news round-up reports on controversial plans for 400 new homes in the Bolsover district, Chesterfield’s Northern Gateway development moving forwards, an increase in costs at Chesterfield council’s leisure centres and more.

Local residents have sent in more than 150 letters of objection to major plans for up to 400 new homes at land in Clowne.

Avant Homes has submitted proposals for the residential development, along with the safeguarding of land for a primary school, at agricultural land at Stanfree Farm on Low Road in Clowne.

The plans for the 25.77 hectares of land include a community hub with local shop, parkland and open spaces, with access to the development from Low Road and Cliff Hill.

The outline planning application was submitted to Bolsover District Council last month and since then dozens of local people have objected to the development.

Some of the concerns of nearby residents include the visual impact, increased traffic, air pollution and impact on wildlife.

Planning documents show that 40 of the proposed houses would be affordable housing, 1.15 hectares of land would be safeguarded for a school or nursery and 57% of the site would be open spaces, including formal parkland, a children’s play area and allotments.

A planning statement by the developers said a public exhibition about the proposals was held for local residents in July 2016.

It said: “The comments received from residents have informed the form and location of the proposed development with a number of amendments made to the scheme.

“These included a significant reduction in the quantum of residential development from 600 to 400 dwellings, a minimum 10m buffer to nearby commercial/residential premises and the provision of allotments within the site.”

Read more…

Saltergate car park demolition

Plans to demolish the Saltergate multi-storey car park in Chesterfield town centre have been given the go-ahead.

Chesterfield Borough Council revealed proposals in July to knock down the car park and rebuild it at a cost of £6.5m, as part of its Northern Gateway development in the town.

Planners at the council have now approved the demolition of the building, which is expected to start next February – though an application for the construction of the new car park still has to be submitted.

The car park, which is believed to have been built in 1974, has 10 split levels but the top two floors have been closed in recent years because of structural defects.

The Northern Gateway scheme also includes a business enterprise centre on part of the Donut car park and the redevelopment of the former Co-op department store – where work is expected to start next month.

Today, the council also announced it was holding a public consultation until 9th October on changes to some car parks and on-street parking in the town.

Read more…

Chesterfield leisure costs

Fees for sports activities are set to increase by around 3% from next month after a decision by Chesterfield Borough Council.

At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, councillors approved the new fees for using facilities at Queen’s Park Sports Centre and the Healthy Living Centre.

The new fees, which will be brought in from 1st October, include an increase in the cost of an adult swim from £3.50 to £3.60 and an increase in a junior swim lesson from £4.80 to £4.95.

The council report said there was a “careful balancing act” in setting the fees, which looked at the need to raise income along with the need to tackle health inequalities.

Read more…

Other politics news from Derbyshire this week includes:

  • A controversial well dressing which pays tribute to Princess Diana will be on display in Chesterfield town centre until Saturday. The artwork has received national publicity after being criticised online but Chesterfield Borough Council defended the work – saying it was intended as a “talking point” and had been made by a group of volunteers.
  • Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner was one of seven Labour MPs to rebel against leader Jeremy Corbyn by voting in favour of the Government’s Brexit bill on Monday night. The veteran MP, who backs leaving the EU, defied the party whip to support the EU withdrawal bill.
  • Three garage sites have been sold by Chesterfield Borough Council at an auction last week for a total of £90,500. A garage site at Newbridge Street in Old Whittington sold for £54,000, while another at Hardwick Street, Chesterfield, sold for £18,500, and the third garage site on Ireland Street in Staveley sold for £18,000.
  • Derbyshire County Council has appointed former Kier Group business services director Emma Alexander to the new post of strategic director for commissioning, communities and policy. The new position was created as part of a senior management restructure at the county council, which saw three top posts abolished including the role of chief executive.
  • Parents in Derbyshire can now apply for secondary school places for their children for next year. Derbyshire County Council said around 8,300 year six pupils had been sent information on the application process and the deadline is 31st October.
  • Music lovers can enjoy the 59th Annual Brass Band Festival in Dronfield next week, which has been organised by North East Derbyshire District Council. It will take place at Dronfield Sports Centre on 23rd September from 7.30pm and features Stannington Brass Band, Shirebrook Miners Welfare (Unison) Band and Dronfield (Genquip) Band.

Plans submitted for Chesterfield’s former fire station site


Welcome to the first news round-up following the summer break! It covers majors plans for a mixed-use development at former fire station land in Chesterfield, fracking objections by a council, a report on more than 2,000 new homes for the Bolsover area and more.

Proposals to transform a former fire station site in Chesterfield into a leisure and office development have moved forwards after plans were submitted.

Blue Deer Ltd has applied to Chesterfield Borough Council for permission for the mixed-use development at land off Sheffield Road in Whittington Moor – which was previously home to Chesterfield’s fire station.

The company wants to create 18 small offices at the 2.1 acre site, along with a central barn called The Batch House with artisan food producers, restaurants, bars and retail units, which would be “inspired by the markets you find in central Europe”.

Also included in the planning application is one residential unit, which would be a caretaker’s flat, and 190 car park spaces.

Blue Deer’s website said the site, which is opposite the Proact Stadium, will be known as The Glass Yard.

It said: “The central barn is mainly for artisan food producers, restaurants, cafes and retail units. Built over multiple levels and with an unusual design, the barn will create interesting spaces, perfect for exhibitions, presentations and creative workshops.”

The development is expected to create 10 full-time jobs and 20 part-time roles.

The town’s fire station is now based at Spire Walk Business Park and the former fire station building on Sheffield Road was demolished in 2012 – with the site being vacant since then.

Chesterfield Borough Council agreed the sale of the land, pictured above, to the developers last November for an undisclosed sum.

Read more…

Fracking objections

North East Derbyshire District Council has submitted an objection to controversial plans for exploratory drilling on land near Eckington.

The authority said it opposes proposals by Ineos to carry out drilling at a site off Bramleymoor Lane, near the village of Marsh Lane, to investigate whether it could be suitable for future fracking.

The company submitted a planning application to Derbyshire County Council earlier this year for the drilling, which would not include fracking, and North East Derbyshire District Council was consulted on the proposals.

In its response, the district council said it objected because of concerns about increased air pollution, the effect on wildlife and the possibility of “serious traffic congestion”.

The authority added: “You should also note that by resolution of the council on 31st October 2016 this council opposes fracking within North East Derbyshire and asks the county council to note this opposition due to the impact it has on local communities, its controversial nature and the sheer volume of water used in the process.”

The Environment Agency recently granted an environmental permit to Ineos for the exploratory drilling.

Read more…

Bolsover housing

Around 2,100 new homes are expected to be built in the Bolsover District between 2017 and 2022, according a council report about the supply of housing land.

Members of Bolsover District Council’s planning committee approved a five year housing supply assessment last week, which looks at housing sites with planning permission and other land earmarked for new homes.

The report says 240 dwellings need to be built in the district each year from 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2022 and lists the sites where homes are expected to be constructed.

Planning committee chairman Coun Duncan McGregor said: “This latest five year supply assessment is important news for us and growth in Bolsover District.

The council has taken the necessary decisions to approve and stimulate growth in the right locations to ensure that we both meet the Government’s requirements but more importantly ensure our local communities feel in control of how their town or village grows.”

Read more…

Other politics news from Derbyshire from the last few weeks includes:

  • North East Derbyshire MP Lee Rowley has called for compensation for those affected by previous plans for the HS2 route through Derbyshire. In July, the route for the high-speed train line was confirmed but Mr Rowley said in Parliament yesterday that people affected by the previous proposed route in Killamarsh, Renishaw and Spinkhill, along with the Chesterfield Canal Trust, had been blighted for four-and-a-half years.
  • A controversial plan to build 300 homes on agricultural land in Brimington has been rejected by Chesterfield Borough Council’s planning committee. FG Sissons (Chesterfield) Ltd wanted to build the housing development, including land allocated for a primary school, at land to the north-west of Northmoor View but councillors refused it for seven reasons, including highway safety, ecology and air quality.
  • Up to 212 homes are set to be built at land off Mooracre Lane in Bolsover after plans were given the go-ahead. Bolsover District Council’s planning committee approved the proposals by Keepmoat Homes for a mix of two, three and four bedroom properties at the 10-hectare site.
  • Local people have until 25th September to give their views on proposals to curb anti-social behaviour in Chesterfield town centre. Chesterfield Borough Council is running the consultation about plans to introduce Public Spaces Protection Orders in parts of the town – in a bid to tackle issues related to alcohol and nuisance behaviour.
  • The former headquarters of North East Derbyshire District Council in Chesterfield town centre could be transformed into retirement homes, it has been revealed. Retirement housebuilder McCarthy and Stone wants to create accommodation for elderly people at the large building, on Saltergate, and is planning a public exhibition about the proposals.
  • A by-election will be held later this month following the resignation of Chesterfield Borough councillor Stephen Hitchin, who stepped down to focus on his family and medical career. The four candidates who will contest the Holmebrook ward by-election on 21st September are Keith Falconer (Lib Dem), Ron Mihaly (Lab), Oliver Scheidt (Con) and Paul Stone (Chesterfield Independents).
  • Proposed new electoral arrangements for Bolsover and North East Derbyshire district councils have been published by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England. The Commission’s final recommendations say each council should keep the same number of councillors – 53 in North East Derbyshire and 37 in Bolsover – but that some ward boundaries should be changed. The proposals must now be approved by Parliament before coming into force for the 2019 elections.
  • Visitors to Chesterfield town centre can view the annual well dressing at the town pump in the Market Place from this Saturday. This year’s well dressing is on the theme of Princess Diana and a service of blessing will take place in the Crooked Spire Church at 10am on Saturday.