Business owners call for meeting with Chesterfield council leader amid disappoinment over Staveley transformation plans

Business owners have called for a meeting with the leader of Chesterfield Borough Council after voicing their disappointment over plans to transform Staveley town centre.

Thursday, 28th April 2022, 3:42 pm

Staveley Improvement Team held its inaugural meeting at Harleys Inn, in Staveley, on April 13.

The organisation, led by business owners Keith Bannister, of Harleys Inn, and Bill Cooney, of W.P Cooney Builders, formed earlier this month with the aim of ensuring that those living and working in the area are fully involved in the Staveley Town Deal Programme.

Members now hope to meet with Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, to discuss their concerns with parts of the scheme, which was awarded £25.5million by the Government and comprises 11 projects.

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Members of the Staveley Improvement Team. Seen Briany and Billy Cooney, Old rectory guest house, Keith Bannister owner Harleys bar, Paula Smith Hair with attitude, Simon Bannister Tillys tavern, Linda Bannister Harveys bar and Emma Watson manager Harveys bar.

Keith said: “We discussed all the great things that are in the pipeline for our town. Getting the Staveley Town Deal is like winning the Lottery, as we told Lee Rowley MP when he met with us to hear our concerns. One important element of the Town Deal is Staveley 21 - the Town Centre Masterplan.

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"It is essential that we regenerate our town centre so that it is fit to welcome not just the existing residents but the thousands of new ones that will live in the 3,500 homes set to be built here.”

Claiming that planners want a “15 minute neighbourhood”, he added: “Sadly this masterplan is not led by Staveley Town Council or local people.

"The initial proposals that they published and consulted on had wonderful artists’ impressions of how our new town centre would look. That apparently is now dead in the water. It seems the proposals were just pie in the sky, far too expensive.

"All that’s being proposed now is a sort of DIY SOS scheme. It is not what we were promised. It is not what we want. So SIT will keep fighting until we get involved in the process and Staveley gets what it deserves.

"We want Councillor Gilby to come to our town to meet us and learn what people who live in Staveley and know Staveley actually want, rather than the fantasy vanity projects that Chesterfield Borough Council has lined up. “

A Chesterfield Borough Council spokesperson said: “Our project to improve and modernise Staveley town centre is one of eleven set to be funded through the £25.2 million Staveley Town Deal.

"The project will receive almost one-fifth of the available funding (£4.86 million) and its delivery is fundamental to the Town Deal Board’s vision ‘for Staveley to be a place for people to start, to stay and to grow’.

“There have already been several opportunities for members of the Staveley community to comment upon the council’s plans for Staveley town centre. This has included one-to-one conversations with local retailers, but of course we can always do more and are committed to doing so.

“We are committed to working together with the community to deliver an enhanced town centre offer where local retailers and businesses can thrive, and a date for a meeting has already been arranged between representatives from the council, the Town Deal Board and the Staveley Improvement Team, SIT.”

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