Historic Derbyshire library set to go under the hammer

An historic former library building in Belper is to go under the hammer following the opening of a new £1.7 million library in the town.
An aerial view of The Hollies and surrounding plot.An aerial view of The Hollies and surrounding plot.
An aerial view of The Hollies and surrounding plot.

The impressive stone-built property in Bridge Street is to be sold on behalf of Derbyshire County Council by SDL Auctions in its commercial property auction on Friday, October 30, with a guide price of £300,000.

Believed to have been built in the 1870s, the property was once a grand private house known as The Hollies.

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It was owned by a doctor who ran a surgery there, before it was sold to Derbyshire County Council in 1937.

Its sale presents a rare development opportunity, according to auctioneers.

Managing director and auctioneer Andrew Parker said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for an enterprising investor to help shape this award-winning market town by redeveloping this fascinating character property.”

The extensive property spans four floors, including a basement, and sits on a large plot with a car park and a sizable green space which backs onto playing fields.

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Andrew added: “The Hollies offers huge potential for a number of uses, including residential, with the space for a new-build extension, all subject to the necessary planning permissions.

"In a town as popular as Belper, there is always demand for attractive housing, so we feel it would lend itself particularly well to a residential conversion, such as high-end self-contained apartments, although we urge potential buyers to consult Amber Valley Borough Council before bidding.”

The old library was replaced by a new £1.7 million library in Derwent Street, which opened its doors in August.

Derbyshire County Council leader and cabinet member for strategic leadership, tourism and culture, councillor Barry Lewis, said: “We were delighted to finally be able to open the doors to our new library in Belper and hope people who visit will agree with us that it was worth the wait.

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“It is quite unusual for local authorities to be opening new libraries and this demonstrates our commitment to the library service and all that it has to offer to our residents.

“It’s a stunning building which is light, airy and bright with windows along one wall letting the public see into the building and the stock and services on offer.

"It combines the old and the new, bringing different elements together.

"It’s modern, the stock is easy to access and there’s a lovely children’s section. It’s definitely worth a visit.”

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All customers are being asked to wear face coverings when visiting a library, unless they are in an exempt group, and will also be asked to leave their details as part of the test and trace programme.

The old library, The Hollies, will be sold on Friday, October 30, the second day of SDL Auctions’ two-day auction, which will be dedicated to commercial properties.

For more information, call 01332 242 880 or visit www.sdlauctions.co.uk.