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Town Centre Northern Gateway

Latest News In May 2012 the Council selected Wilson Bowden as their preferred development partner for the Northern Gateway scheme. The Northern Gateway site covers an area of approximately 4.48 hectares (11 acres) and includes Chesterfield Borough Council owned surface and multi-storey public car parks on the Holywell Cross roundabout, the Allen and Orr timber yard, Jackson & Shipley builders merchants and the former Newbold Road pertol filling station.

The site is in a high profile location forming an important gateway from Sheffield Road and Chesterfield railway station. It is located at the town's centre interface with Chesterfield College, the Chesterfield Waterside Development and the existing shopping area. It is the key priority of the Town Centre Masterplan.

The estimated £50m project will transform this area into a high quality shopping and leisure area. The site will also offer a new town centre food store, shops, restaurants, a cinema, an 80 bedroom hotel, 85 new homes, a mix of commercial space and replacement car parking. It’s estimated that the project will create around 1,000 jobs with around 300-400 during the construction process and a further 700 on completion of the site.

Discussions are currently underway with a range of occupiers to anchor the scheme.


1. Who are the occupiers?
Wilson Bowden is in discussion with a number of occupiers for the supermarket, cinema, hotel and retail units and the Council will be working with Wilson Bowden to target high quality retail. It is expected that the identity of the key occupiers who will anchor the scheme will be announced early 2014.

2. What will happen to the existing businesses at the site?
The Council and Wilson Bowden will be working with the businesses to relocate them to other suitable sites in Chesterfield. Discussions have been held with both Allen and Orr and Jacksons to clarify their relocation plans.

4. Will the Council use its Compulsory Purchase (CPO) powers?
The Council has an in-principle resolution to use its CPO powers to acquire all of the land within the Northern Gateway site. However, the aim is to purchase the remaining land by negotiation with the third party interests without the need to use CPO.

5. What about traffic in this area?
Background work has been carried out to test the feasibility of the proposals and ensure that the new highway layout can accommodate the existing traffic using the town centre but also the traffic generated by the development itself. Further work will be carried as part of the preparation of the planning application in consultation with Derbyshire County Council as the Highway Authority, details of which will be available at that time for further public consultation.

6. How many car parking spaces will there be?
There are currently 800 car parking spaces on site and the scheme is designed to replace up to 800 public car parking spaces within the development through an undercroft car park. The car park will be for public use to serve shoppers in the rest of the town centre as well as the Northern Gateway.

7. What about the effects of the development on the town centre?
The Northern Gateway scheme is in the town centre. The aim of the development is to make Chesterfield a more attractive shopping destination by attracting new shops and uses, which in turn will increase the amount of visitors spend and footfall in Chesterfield, to the benefit of the town centre as a whole. The aspiration is for a higher quality offer for Northern Gateway, to complement rather than compete with the existing town centre offer. The 2010 CACI study demonstrated the significant benefits to Chesterfield following the completion of the Northern Gateway scheme i.e increasing the money spent in Chesterfield town centre from £231 million to £271million. The development also offers a significant leisure component including a cinema and restaurants, which this is designed to extend the trading hours and increase activity into the evening. In this way the scheme is expected to benefit existing town centre businesses and in particular those located on the northern side of the centre.

8. Will the development generate jobs?
The proposal is expected to generate over 1,000 jobs, approximately 300 during the construction and 700 once the development is fully occupied. The Council will be working with Wilson Bowden to maximise opportunities for local people to access those jobs through local recruitment, training and supply chain initiatives.

9. Can Chesterfield support another food store and cinema?
Yes, our evidence shows that there is capacity and demand for both another food store and cinema in Chesterfield and Wilson Bowden is in discussion with both food retail and cinema operators interested in the Northern Gateway scheme. The site is allocated in the Local Plan as the preferred location in Chesterfield for a new food store. Both the food store and the cinema will serve to anchor the development and attract other shops and restaurants to locate there. Together they will encourage people to make linked leisure and shopping visits to the town centre..

10. What will the performance space/ event space be used for?
The development offers a flexible event space to cater for a range of uses, such as exhibitions, live music, performing arts, screening of sports events, activities forming part of the town’s festivals or just used as a space for relaxation and enjoyment. Further consultation will be carried out to give the public the opportunity to suggest how the space should be used.

11. How many shops will there be?
The scheme includes approximately 100,000sqft of retail space, in addition to a restaurant and cinema offer. As currently masterplanned, space is included for approximately 10 larger retail units plus a large anchor comparison retail unit. There will also be space to cater for independent retailers. The exact make up of the scheme will depend on market demand but the offer, as envisaged, is designed to complement the existing town centre offer.

12. How will the scheme be paid for?
The scheme is to be privately funded.

13. What about buses?
Consultation with the bus operators will take place as part of the preparation of a planning application, as it will be essential for bus services to continue to operate effectively across the town centre. The site is well served by existing bus stops on Elder Way, Stephenson Place and Cavendish Street, upgrades to these facilities may form part of the proposals that come forward.

14. Do the plans include proposals to pedestrianise Elder Way?
It is essential that the Northern Gateway has strong pedestrian connections with the rest of the town centre, to incorporate it into the retail circuit. This will be achieved by pedestrian crossings across Saltergate combined with proposals to calm traffic on Saltergate and improvements to the environment for pedestrians on Elder Way. However, Elder Way is also a key route for buses and taxis and therefore, currently, there are no proposals to fully pedestrianise this street.

Last updated: September 2013