PLANS to demolish a disused school to build a state-of-the-art surgery could be quashed, after the council amended the town’s conservation area to include the building.
Bosses at Avondale Surgery in Chesterfield were granted planning permission by Chesterfield Borough Council to demolish the former Manor College site on Ashgate Road in June - but following pressure from the Chesterfield Civic Society, the council moved to protect the 100-year-old building.
The site was purchased by NHS Derbyshire County in November 2009, with a view to restoring it for the surgery’s use. But despite over £1m in restoration attempts, the building has proved beyond repair. Kate Chilton, practice director at Avondale Surgery, said: “It’s not a listed building and it has been broken into, it’s boarded up, flooded and it is falling to pieces. It is not workable or safe to have the surgery there.”
But Phil Whiteley, secretary of the Chesterfield and District Civic Society said the decision to oppose the plans was based on the proposed aesthetics of the new building. He said: “We are not raising issues for the sake of it. The plans were not fitting with the surroundings.” Surgery bosses have now handed a petition to the council, with over 1000 signatures calling for the conservation area to be rescinded.
Cllr Jenny Flood, who is backing the surgery’s decision to demolish the building, said: “This is about what’s in the best interest of the community and this building is unsafe. We need a new surgery for the 10,000 patients in the area.”
Plans for the surgery include extra parking, which is a problem at the Manor College site, and a respite centre for people with long term illnesses. A scrutiny meeting will be held on August 17 at 5.30pm to discuss the proposals.
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