A planning application is to be submitted to Chesterfield Borough Council seeking permission to convert the town's landmark former Co-op store for a mixed leisure and restaurant use.
The large site in Elder Way has been empty since the town's Co-op department store shut its doors to customers for the final time in July 2013.
Now, Central England Cooperative, which still owns the site, is working in partnership with Jomast Developments Ltd, who will shortly submit a planning application for a scheme. It is anticipated that this application will include:
- an 89-bedroom hotel on the upper floor
- six family restaurants, of between 2,929 sq ft and 3,796 sq ft in size, on the ground floor
- a 16,000 sq ft health and fitness area in the basement
The developers plan to refurbish the existing building and keep most of its original features.
Councillor John Burrows, Chesterfield Borough Council's leader and cabinet member for regeneration, said: "The former Co-op store is a really important site because it occupies such a large and prominent part of the town centre.
"Our economic development and planning teams have done a huge amount of work behind the scenes with Jomast and Central England Co-operative to enable us to get to a day where a planning application can be submitted that proposes a new future for this important site within the town.
"However, as with all planning applications, the council's planning committee will have to consider the application with an open mind, balancing all aspects of the scheme, and taking into account the opinions of the public, businesses and other bodies, before coming to a decision."
It is expected that a planning application will be formally submitted in the week beginning 12 October. It is anticipated that a decision will be made within eight weeks. During this period there will be a 21-day consultation with the public, businesses and other interested parties.
Adam Hearld, development director for Jomast, said: "This is a hugely exciting opportunity to revitalise a significant landmark building and create a vibrant leisure destination comprising restaurants, hotel and health and fitness accommodation in the heart of Chesterfield town centre.
"We are in the process of talking to a number of established national operators who are keen to locate in the town and benefit from a market which is currently lacking in real choice for leisure consumers.
"We will hopefully be successful in securing planning consent and able to commence works on the scheme in the New Year."