Morrisons plans for former Bolsover District Council building are criticised by the Civic Society
The plans came last month, as the council issued a community protection notice demanding the supermarket giant cleans up the site, which has fallen into disrepair and been the subject of repeated acts of vandalism and fires.
Bolsover District Council gave Morrisons 28 days to complete the work detailed on the notice - a time frame which has now expired.
Bernard Haigh, Bolsover Civic Society secretary, said: “The Society is particularly interested in protecting Sherwood Lodge and ensuring the vacant office site offers a reasonably attractive and maintained green urban park space for local people, until at some stage the site is fully redeveloped.”
Its concerns about Morrisons’ demolition plan are as follows:
l That Morrisons’ proposals for the protection of the original 1897 building, Sherwood Lodge, once the newer council offices have been demolished is inadequate and a clear statement or drawing on the intended finished state of the exposed elevation of Sherwood Lodge should be provided.
l It is unacceptable to fill the vacant site with ‘recycled aggregates from the demolition activities or imported materials’ as detailed in the plans. Instead, the site should shaped and finished with top soil seeded with either grass or wildflowers to create a biodiversity and low maintenance area, creating a small urban park for the local population for the period that the site is left redundant.
l The report does not address the question of ongoing maintenance of the site.
The Civic Society suggests that Morrisons and Bolsover District Council should draw up a maintenance agreement to include grass cutting, tree and shrub pruning. They say it is unacceptable for the site to become as derelict and neglected as it has over the past five years.
Bolsover District Council’s community protection notice sets out seven conditions which Morrisons must meet to make the site safe, including boarding-up windows, removing flammable substances, carrying out hourly security inspections and preventing individuals gaining access to the roof of the building.
A spokesman for Bolsover District Council said he was not aware of how many of the required conditions the supermarket giant had met to date. But he added: “There is a meeting due to take place to discuss Sherwood Lodge and what actions have been taken by Morrisons so we can then determine what to do next.”
A Morrisons spokesperson said: “We are aware of the concerns raised by the Bolsolver Civic Society however the demolition works are needed to deter further antisocial behaviour at the Sherwood Lodge site.”