Firms bid to lead town masterplan

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COUNCIL chiefs have revealed the two firms battling to lead exciting plans that could see Chesterfield become a top shopping hotspot.

Chesterfield Borough Council has announced Muse Developments and Wilson Bowden will go head-to-head to submit detailed proposals for the town’s ambitious Northern Gateway project.

The masterplan will see the Donut roundabout area transformed with new shops, restaurants and offices to boost spending in the town from £231m to £270m per year.

Council bosses will reveal the successful developer by March and a planning application could be submitted in the summer with work to start in 2013.

Cllr John Burrows, leader of the council, said the two firms – chosen following a rigorous evaluation process – have “exciting” ideas for the project.

He added: “The council is satisfied that both companies have a strong track record and will be able to deliver a development that raises the quality of the retail offer and enhances Chesterfield as a shopping centre and visitor destination.”

Cllr Burrows said the masterplan is expected to create a significant number of jobs both during construction and once completed.

Muse Developments and Wilson Bowden said they were “delighted” to have been shortlisted.

Simon Dew, senior development surveyor at Muse Developments, said: “It’s an exciting scheme for Chesterfield and we look forward to progressing our proposals for what is a key retail opportunity in the town centre.”

Will Robinson, development director at Wilson Developments, said: “We’ve worked in Chesterfield before – we know the potential in the town – and for us it’s an opportunity to continue our relationship with the council.”

The Northern Gateway project aims to move Chesterfield into the top 100 shopping destinations in the country and is one of several major regeneration schemes planned for the town.

Last month the Derbyshire Times revealed exciting multi-million pound plans to transform Walton Works – the old Robinson healthcare factory – and its redundant Chesterfield site, off Chatsworth Road, turning it into a lively “district centre”.

l What would you like to see included in the Northern Gateway project? Tell us at comment@derbyshiretimes.co.uk.

michael.broomhead

@derbyshiretimes.co.uk