Several Chesterfield sites may be developed

Chesterfield from above. Picture by Steve Fairburn, founder of www.rise-above-it.co.uk

Chesterfield from above. Picture by Steve Fairburn, founder of www.rise-above-it.co.uk

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Council chiefs are considering a number of sites for potential development across Chesterfield borough.

Last month, Chesterfield Borough Council launched a land availability assessment (LAA) to identify locations appropriate for development and assess the suitability of the sites.

The old Queen's Park Sports Centre.

The old Queen's Park Sports Centre.

The LAA will form the basis of the authority’s new local plan and help decide which areas should be allocated for a range of types of development including housing, employment, retail and traveller sites.

The borough council invited landowners, developers and members of the public to suggest sites which might be suitable for development.

Councillor Terry Gilby, the authority’s deputy leader and cabinet member for planning, told the Derbyshire Times: “We have received a positive response to our call for sites for development in the borough with at least ten new sites suggested in addition to ones which we are already aware of from previous calls for sites.

“Our officers will now review the suggestions and assess which ones may be suitable to include as potential development sites in developing the next local plan, which we will publish for people to comment on later this year.”

Chesterfield town centre.

Chesterfield town centre.

A borough council spokesman added: “We cannot reveal the sites suggested at present because the planners will have to assess if they are suitable before this can happen.”

On the Derbyshire Times’ Facebook page, we asked you what sites you’d like to see developed. Here are five locations you suggested...

1. The old Queen’s Park Sports Centre on Boythorpe Road, Chesterfield

Council chiefs are yet to decide what to do with the derelict sports centre. It closed last month when the new Queen’s Park Sports Centre opened further up the road. Residents have contacted the Derbyshire Times wanting to know what will happen to the prominent building – but a borough council spokesman said no decision has yet been made. The council previously said the old building would be demolished. On our Facebook page, readers suggested what they would like to see built on the site in the future. Some said they wanted it to become a supermarket, others said a water sports centre – one person suggested a casino. Judith Thompson said: “Turn it into something really constructive – something for young people.” Facilities at the new Queen’s Park Sports Centre include an eight-lane main swimming pool, eight sports courts, a gym and a cafe. The £11.25million project was paid for by £6.725m from the borough council, £2.5m from the town’s college, £2m from Sport England’s Strategic Facilities Fund and £25,000 from Squash England.

The abandoned, vandal-hit Chesterfield Hotel.

The abandoned, vandal-hit Chesterfield Hotel.

2. Chesterfield town centre

Many of you think the town centre needs new life breathing into it. Commenting on our Facebook page, Tracy Dawson said it is ‘unloved’ while others reckon the market needs a revamp. As revealed by the Derbyshire Times earlier this month, up to £3million is needed to help breathe new life into Chesterfield’s historic outdoor market. The major funding is being sought by the borough council to make future improvements to the town institution – including possibly changing its layout. In addition, the council is looking at making short-term changes to the outdoor market so it can thrive in the modern shopping world.

3. The former Chesterfield Hotel on Malkin Street, Chesterfield

A lot of you think the prominent Chesterfield Hotel building urgently needs redeveloping. As we’ve previously reported, the company which owned the hotel may be struck off and dissolved for not filing its accounts on time. If that were to happen, the Crown would take ownership of the building and possibly sell it.

Wasteland opposite the Alma Leisure Park.

Wasteland opposite the Alma Leisure Park.

4. Derelict land opposite the Alma Leisure Park off Derby Road, Chesterfield

This six-acre site is currently up for sale. On the one side you’ve got the busy Alma Leisure Park with the town’s cinema and big-name restaurants – and on the other is this vast expanse of derelict land. On our Facebook page, Gary Topley said an ice skating rink would work well at the location.

5. Staveley

Amid all the major developments currently taking place in Chesterfield, some of you call Staveley the ‘forgotten town’. The former Staveley Works site, which closed in 2013 after more than 200 years, lies vacant and residents desperately want to see the eyesore transformed.

The former Staveley Works site.

The former Staveley Works site.

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