A key town centre site has been secured by Chesterfield Borough Council – a major step forward for ambitious regeneration plans to create a new gateway for the town.
The council has taken a part freehold, part lease hold interest in the former Chesterfield Hotel site today (Monday, 16 November) and will now work with contractors to clear out and demolish the derelict building, which has stood empty since it shut its doors in 2015.
The site is highlighted as a key development opportunity in the emerging HS2 Station Masterplan which aims to harness the opportunities presented by HS2 and revitalise the area around Chesterfield Train Station.
Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “Chesterfield Hotel was a significant building and a venue which has served the town well over the years.
“Sadly, the costs to remodel and refurbish the building to bring it back into productive use are too high, and it is deemed an unviable option as compared with redevelopment of the site.
“The building has fallen into disrepair and is unfortunately now regarded as a safety risk and an eyesore on this key route from the train station. We must act to bring this area back to life, as part of our wider plans to revitalise this important gateway to our town.”
Making sure the site is safe and secure is the council’s immediate priority – including work to remove the remaining boundary wall at the side of the hotel on Malkin Street amidst safety concerns about the structure.
Work will start immediately to clear and strip out the inside of the building before full demolition, which is expected to start in spring next year.
It is proposed that a temporary surface car park will be created in its place while plans for the future use of the site are developed as part of the emerging HS2 Station Masterplan.
Cllr Gilby added: “This is a major step forward for our long-term plan to harness the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented to us by HS2. To make the most of it we must invest in the delivery of new housing as well as business and commercial development around Chesterfield station.
“Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, Chesterfield continues to move forward. Town centre regeneration is a key element of the council’s Economic Recovery Plan, which will put Chesterfield in the strongest position to bounce back from the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19.”
The council is currently finalising the HS2 Station Masterplan which will be subject to public consultation in the first part of next year.
The land purchase has been funded through the HS2 Strategic Sites project which was awarded £2.4m of funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (D2N2 LEP) earlier in the year – the acquisition of the former Chesterfield Hotel site is just one of a range of initiatives that the council is taking forward with the benefit of the funding to develop the area and to maximise the economic benefits that will be brought to the town by HS2.