A planning application will be submitted within the next two weeks seeking permission to demolish the old Queen’s Park Sports Centre site in Chesterfield.
Chesterfield Borough Council has also confirmed it plans to carry out a public consultation on three or four options for future uses of the site between Monday 22 August and Friday 30 September.
The old Queen’s Park Sports Centre, on Boythorpe Road, closed at the end of December 2015, a few days before the new £11.25 million Queen’s Park Sports Centre opened further down the road on the Queen’s Park Annexe site.
Final plans are now being completed to submit a planning application to demolish the site and carry out some temporary landscaping.
If planning permission is granted it is hoped the demolition work could begin in September and be completed by early 2017.
Alongside this discussions have been taking place with planners and Historic England -formerly known as English Heritage - about potential uses for the former site to ensure that any options put forward in the public consultation would be acceptable from a heritage perspective given the grade two star heritage listing of the neighbouring Queen’s Park.
The existing building has to be demolished because it is no longer economically viable to keep running due to not being energy efficient, not being up to modern environmental requirements and having high running costs.
Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for town centre and visitor economy, said: “The new Queen’s Park Sports Centre has already proved to be a great success with 1,600 new memberships on top of those we already had, the number of people taking part in activities up and income up. It is already more than justifying the original business case for replacing the old building.
“Now that the new centre is up-and-running our focus is on the future uses of the old site. We still have some work to do on business cases before we publicise the potential options being considered as we have to ensure that anything potentially going on the site is acceptable from a planning and heritage perspective given the listed status of the park.
“It also needs to generate an income that can help fund core council services, such as sport and leisure activities for our residents in the borough.
“We will be publicising the options available the start of the public consultation but we need to ensure that any options put forward are viable and not something that would be a non-starter from a heritage listing or planning perspective.
“As we promised, no decisions will be taken on the future use of the site until the public consultation has been carried out.”
Full details of the public consultation will be publicised in advance by the council to encourage as many residents as possible to give their views on the future uses of the site.