Factory site plan is welcomed by town

NDET 13-7-12 TW 6 Robinsons works proposed development l to r Colin Fairclough,Ben Ellis,Tom Woolner
NDET 13-7-12 TW 6 Robinsons works proposed development l to r Colin Fairclough,Ben Ellis,Tom Woolner

Plans to redevelop a derelict Chesterfield factory site have been welcomed by businesses and residents.

An application has been submitted to transform Walton Works – the old Robinson healthcare factory – off Chatsworth Road.

Developers hosted a two-day exhibition to gather feedback on their plans for the Grade II listed mill complex.

Nicholas Morgan, director of Brampton Regeneration which is leading the scheme, said: “There was a huge amount of support. Nobody left any negative comments.”

He added: “There is a real sense of local pride in the western side of Chesterfield and people feel it is time something happened with the site, which has stood empty for over ten years.”

A new foodstore will be the catalyst for the scheme which will also include shops, new homes, a riverside walk and the overgrown memorial, Coronation Garden revived.

Around 400 jobs could be created in the £35m plan.

The event, held at Zion Church Hall on Chatsworth Road, gave residents a chance to see artists’ impressions of how the factory site could look.

John Lilley, chairman of the Brampton Living History Group, said: “I think it’s got promise.

“This has needed doing for a long time but it’s always been put on hold and the building has become derelict.

“It’s good to see it could be brought back in to good use again.”

The old Robinson factory was once a bustling town employer but the site is now run-down and the “at risk” Walton Works is boarded up.

Ben Ellis, director of Brampton Regeneration, said: “The site has not had any investment and it is important to the heritage of Chesterfield.

“We feel ours is a regeneration scheme for this part of the town.”

During the two-day exhibition held on July 12 and 13, developers showcased their plans to business bosses on Chatsworth Road.

Mr Ellis added: “They were very positive about what we are trying to achieve and see the huge advantages of lifting what is currently a real eyesore.”