Developers hail Chesterfield's location amid soaring demand for new homes
Developers have hailed the attraction of Chesterfield as housing schemes spring up across the borough – with more in the pipeline.
Value and location have been hailed as key drivers in a boom in people looking to purchase a home in the borough – helping support a number of developments.
Chesterfield Council says, in its 2018-2035 Local Plan, more than 4,000 homes need to be built to “meet the housing needs of a growing population and a growing economy”.
The Local Plan, a legal document all councils are required to produce, says: “Over the plan period, the council can demonstrate a supply of 6,497 dwellings against a minimum housing requirement of 4,080.
“The priority for development will be to continue delivering and regenerating brownfield land.”
Sites identified in the plan include 1,500 homes at Chesterfield Waterside and the former Staveley Works, as well as 800 south of Dunston Road, Dunston.
A further 120 three, four and five-bedroom homes are nearing completion at Harron Homes’ Heritage Green development, off Rother Way, Tapton.
A council spokesman said: “We are pressing ahead with a number of nationally-significant regeneration schemes across the borough.
“This includes a range of housing developments, which will provide high-quality and affordable homes.
“Chesterfield is a fantastic borough with a lot to offer – we have excellent transport links, we’re close to the stunning Peak District and, together with our incredible community spirit, it’s an attractive place to live and work.
“We’re a prosperous borough with a bright future and, as a result, we are seeing more housing developments across the area.”
Mat Barnes, sales and lettings director at estate agent Hunters, on Burlington Street in the town centre, says it is the perfect time for new homes in Chesterfield, with a number of suitable brownfield sites now available, coupled with the demand for homes far outstripping the volume on the market.
“We have a lot of brownfield sites that have just become available, such as the old Arnold Laver site,” he said.
“And demand for homes is phenomenal at the moment.
“A lot of people are liking the idea of owning a new home. There’s a shortage of stock, but a lot of people are looking to move.”
He said being stuck at home during lockdown has also led to a lot of people reconsidering their housing situation.
“It’s brought the home to the forefront of everyone’s minds,” he said.
Mr Barnes said Chesterfield was also strategically placed for house-hunters from across the area – and further afield.
“We are a lot cheaper than Sheffield or Nottingham,” he said, “but we have three junctions of the M1, and you can be at East Midlands Airport in an hour, or London in two hours by train.”
Value for money
Tom Parker, consumer spokesman at property website Zoopla, said: “Chesterfield offers great value to home hunters. For under £100,000 it’s possible to purchase a two-to-three-bedroom home, with a garden.”
Vistry Partnerships has started redeveloping part of the Walton Hospital site in Chesterfield after securing planning permission for 153 homes – and again hailed Chesterfield’s location as a key part of its attraction.
A spokesman said: “Chesterfield not only boasts a rich history itself, but with the Peak District nearby, it offers the best of town and country – residents from across the North and Midlands see moving there as excellent value for money.
“And with the key employment centres of Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield less than an hour away, Chesterfield is perfectly positioned for commuters and young families looking to relocate.”
Chesterfield-based Avant Homes is currently building 173 two, three and four-bedroom homes at the £340 million Chesterfield Waterside development off Brimington Road.
Stuart Rowlands, Avant Homes Central managing director, said: “Chesterfield is a thriving town with plenty of opportunities for developers to meet the demand for much-needed new-build housing.”
Elsewhere, Rippon Homes reports strong demand for its properties.
Ian Dyke, Rippon Homes managing director, said: “Popularity in the area doesn’t appear to be slowing.
“Kings Meadow, our previous development in Wingerworth sold remarkably fast, and we’re delighted to be bringing more homes to the area soon with Queens Court, Wingerworth.”
Support for town-centre living
Chesterfield Civic Society has backed more town-centre housing, with plans in place for hundreds of flats and apartments across a number of developments in the centre of Chesterfield.
Philip Riden, society chairman, said: “Most people do not want to live on brownfield redevelopment sites, so there is pressure to release greenfield land for housing.
“However, people who live next door to greenfield land generally do not want more houses on it.
“The only way forward is to compromise: use brownfield land where you can, but be prepared to release other land and put up with the objections.”
He backed the Chesterfield Waterside development, which will see a hotel and offices, alongside more than 1,000 homes.
Mr Riden said: “No sensible person could possibly object to this development, which is bringing back into beneficial use a large area of derelict former industrial land, including providing modestly priced homes within walking distance of the town centre.
“This is something the society is keen to encourage: more people living in or close to the town centre means greater footfall in shops, restaurants etc, probably less vandalism and anti-social behaviour, and less travelling long distances to work. This is a much better way of reducing car use, rather than having fantasies about everyone cycling everywhere.
“For the same reasons, we support the conversion of redundant town centre office and retail space into flats.
“Until the mid 19th-Century Chesterfield was a ‘walking town’, with people living in the town centre. We’d like to see a move back in that direction.
“If anything, what is needed is more new high-status housing in the town centre.”