Discussions taking place behind-the-scenes for Walton Works masterplan

An artist's impression of the Walton Works masterplan.
An artist's impression of the Walton Works masterplan.

Developers behind the Walton Works masterplan in Chesterfield are working hard to secure occupiers for the site.

It is just over a year since Chesterfield Borough Council's planning committee approved a major development to transform the old Walton Works site and vacant land to the south of it.

The impressive scheme - including hundreds of new homes, retail units, offices and a pub - is being led by Chesterfield firm Robinson PLC and Hathersage company Blue Deer Ltd.

In its most recent trading statement to the London Stock Exchange, Robinson PLC said 'progress continues to be made to find prospective buyers' for the ambitious project.

It will eventually see the restoration and conversion of the Grade II-listed Walton Works building - formerly the Robinson healthcare factory - into ground-floor retail units and offices with 26 apartments above. A separate nearby block would consist of 11 more properties.

The Walton Works building - which had been vacant for nearly 15 years - is in a poor state and is on Historic England’s 'at risk' register.

Last year the council also granted outline planning permission for almost 400 additional homes and apartments, two retail units, a pub and parking facilities on the rest of the sprawling site off Chatsworth Road, which also takes in the vacant Goyt Side Mill and Boythorpe industrial estate.

A previous planning application to redevelop Walton Works was submitted to the council by another firm in 2012.

However, this was disposed of by the authority due to a lack of progress.

A spokesman for Robinson PLC and Blue Deer Ltd said the fresh plans would provide 'much-needed' housing for the area.

In a statement on behalf of the two companies, consultants Cerda Planning said: "There are clear environmental benefits to the proposals associated with the regeneration of the existing site from a visual perspective as well as restoring an existing Grade II-listed building which is currently on the 'at risk' register. The proposals would also remediate existing contamination.

"The proposals would create a significant number of jobs - both indirectly through the construction, maintenance and supply chain and directly through operational jobs.

"The proposals would also attract people to the area and the existing surrounding uses would benefit from shared trips and increased footfall. The inward investment would therefore boost the local economy."