'Archaeological remains' may be under Chesterfield buildings saved from demolition

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Two buildings situated behind a Chesterfield pub will not be knocked down - after an expert said 'archaeological remains' may be under the site.

New River Retail submitted a planning application to Chesterfield Borough Council to demolish two outbuildings behind the Sun Inn on West Bars in order to create more car parking spaces - but the authority refused the proposal.

A Derbyshire archaeologist stated in planning documents: "There is potential within this area for below-ground archaeological remains associated with the medieval town.

"This is strongly supported by the fact that well-preserved archaeological remains were discovered as a result of a recent, small-scale excavation, which occurred on the site of 15-17 West Bars which lies immediately south of the current application area.

"Given the likely undisturbed nature of the ground under the two 19th century buildings which are proposed for demolition, and under the surrounding car park, it is likely that further such remains survive.

"As the proposal involves both the demolition of buildings and the grading of the car park there is a strong possibility that further archaeological remains may come to light in the course of works."

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'The community requires extra car parking'

In its application, New River Retail described the outbuildings as 'dilapidated and not in use' with one of them being in a 'serious state of disrepair'.

The company added: "The public house and local community (the car park is a pay and display amenity) requires extra car parking, and the car park itself needs to be more efficiently set out."

But refusing the application, the council stated: "The proposals to demolish Victorian buildings with some townscape value in a conservation area and replace them with additional surface car parking is not consistent with an approach that seeks to preserve or enhance the wider conservation area, as set out in policy."