Work to demolish the old Queen’s Park Sports Centre in Chesterfield has got underway.
The prominent building has stood empty since the end of 2015 when it closed to make way for a new £11.25million sports centre on the Queen’s Park Annexe site.
Work to knock down the Boythorpe Road building should be complete by the end of March.
It has not yet been decided what will be built at the site - but Chesterfield Borough Council’s preferred option is for a 3G all-weather pitch which can be used for football, hockey, rugby and athletics training and recreational use.
Some residents have raised concerns about the building’s solar panels not being donated to groups and charities in the area.
A borough council spokesman said: “We looked into whether it was feasible to remove the solar panels but we were told it wasn’t due to safety concerns and costs.
“However, we have donated items like lockers to local organisations.”
Last October, the authority launched a public consultation to find out what residents would like to eventually see happen with the site.
According to the consultation results, a total of 384 respondents (68.9 per cent) indicated that they agreed with the council’s preferred option of a 3G all-weather pitch.
The three most common alternatives suggested were:
• Space for offices, events, exhibitions etc
• An ice rink
• A splash park
Many residents have contacted the Derbyshire Times calling for an ice rink at the location.
One member of the public told the council’s consultation: “I would like to see an ice rink in Chesterfield.
“I am sure that it would be financially viable.
“Ice Sheffield is always busy from 6am until late with people traveling long distances to use the facility.”
Another said: “An ice rink is what the younger generation of Chesterfield needs.”
According to the consultation documents, council chiefs want the future use to generate income for the authority in light of budget cuts.
Councillor Amanda Serjeant, cabinet member for town centre and visitor economy, previously said: “The former sports centre sits next to the grade two star listed Queen’s Park so it is important that what goes there is in keeping with that heritage site and the strict planning rules that come with it.
“In an era of council budget cuts whatever goes on the site also needs to generate an income rather than cost taxpayers more money.”