Society vows to fight to protect derelict listed Chesterfield building

Fears have been raised over the future of a 180-year-old listed Chesterfield building.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 3:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 3:13 pm

Hurst House, Abercrombie Street, has stood empty since 2014.

Owner Derbyshire County Council put the former adult education centre up for sale in 2018, but no deal was completed, while plans to convert it to residential use were given the go-ahead the same year, but never proceeded and the building, which dates to about 1840, has remained empty.

And with it falling into further disrepair the longer it is out of use, there are fears it could prove too costly to restore and face demolition.

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Philip Riden Chesterfield Civic Society chairman, said: “This Grade II-listed building has stood empty since 2014 and is judged a ‘building at risk’.

The property is now being transferred to Foundation Derbyshire, the operating name for Derbyshire Community Foundation, but Mr Riden queried the time being taken and the building’s future.

A council spokesman said: “The property is owned by the council, as trustee for Chesterfield School Foundation, and is in the process of being transferred to Foundation Derbyshire, a charitable trust.

“This is expected to conclude shortly.

Hurst House has been empty since 2014.

“Some time ago, the council was hopeful of a sale, but it did not complete and, given the current deflated market resulting from the pandemic, the council is unlikely to get reasonable value from further marketing.

“The council resolved in April 2020 to transfer the educational charities for which it was trustee to Foundation Derbyshire. Hurst House is to be included.”

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Exposed to weather damage and vandalism

Philip Riden, Chesterfield and District Civic Society chairman

However, Mr Riden said: “In the meantime, it continues to be exposed to weather damage and vandalism.”

“It would clearly be in the best interests of the foundation if it was demolished, since a cleared site would almost certainly be worth more than one with a neglected listed building on it.

“The society intends to do all it can to prevent Hurst House suffering this fate, despite the council’s failure over several years to make proper provision for a listed building entrusted to its care.”

Foundation Derbyshire said it would review the property’s future once the transfer was completed.

The building was awarded Grade II listing in 1977.

Rachael Grime, chief executive, said: “We are waiting for the council to transfer Hurst House to us and then will review options to secure its future.

“We do not envisage considering demolition as an option at the current time.”

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Hursthouse dates back to circa 1840.