'Important' Chesterfield building to be transformed into apartments

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A prominent building in Chesterfield town centre is to be turned into apartments.

Chesterfield Borough Council has granted conditional planning permission for Wingerworth-based Leverton UK Ltd to transform 87 New Square - which is opposite Subway - into nine apartments.

87 New Square.

87 New Square.

The company said in a statement: "The building is Grade II-listed and currently starting to look run down and neglected.

"Our intention is to develop this building while mainatining its heritage and being sympathetic to its many traditional details.

"We understand the importance of owning a building such as this and our love for architecture and history makes us ideal for a project on such an important structure."

The property - which has a car park at the rear - was the boyhood home of Thomas Secker, a doctor, priest and Archbishop of Canterbury between 1758 and 1768, according to Chesterfield Civic Society.

It chairman Philip Riden said the society 'strongly supported' the plans to breathe new life into the building.

He said: "It fits in well with the council's declared policy - which we also support - of bringing more property in the town centre into, or back into, residential use, and also provides a viable new use for a visually important listed building in a prominent position in the Market Place.

"We share the council's view that more residents in the town centre will mean increased sales for local shops, less commuter traffic and less anti-social or criminal behaviour in the area.

"The creation of nine flats at 87 New Square will have a positive effect in all respects."

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More town centre housing planned

The news comes as a number of housing developments are set for Chesterfield town centre.

Grindleford-based County Developments (Bakewell) Ltd wants to turn the former county court on St Mary’s Gate - which was vacated in 2016 - into 12 apartments.

Last year, councillors passed proposals to transform the town's old magistrates’ court into 32 apartments.

The Grade II-listed building, which is situated between Rose Hill and West Bars, has been empty for nearly 10 years and become a magnet for crime.

In addition, the authority has given the go-ahead for 10 apartments to be created on the first and second floors of the old Post Office building on Market Place - and North East Derbyshire District Council's former headquarters on Saltergate will be demolished to make way for 64 retirement homes.

Meanwhile, work is underway to transform the currently vacant first and second floors of 1-3 Knifesmithgate into 10 apartments.

Councillor Steve Brunt, the council’s cabinet member for town centres and visitor economy, previously told the Derbyshire Times: "Having housing in the town centre ensures that the heart of town remains a lively place. It brings footfall to the shops and businesses in the town which helps to secure the future of those businesses that are surviving and thriving despite the impact of the internet.

"It also enables town centres to become more of a day and night location, with the extra people in the town centre helping to support restaurants, theatres, cinemas and other leisure activities in the evenings."