Businessman hopes to ‘lift area’ by turning Chesterfield town centre building into apartments

The man behind plans to convert a huge building in Chesterfield town centre into apartments has said the proposals will ‘lift the area’.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 5:24 pm

Sheffield-based property development company Homes by Holmes hopes to turn North East Derbyshire District Council’s former headquarters on Saltergate into up to 75 ‘high-quality’ one, two and three-bedroom apartments.

‘Adequate’ parking spaces would also be provided.

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Homes by Holmes is turning the old council offices on Saltergate into apartments. Pictured are Neville Smith, contracts manager, James Holmes, company owner, and Jamal Khan, property research analyst. Pictures by Brian Eyre.

James Holmes, owner of Homes by Holmes, told the Derbyshire Times: “I've got a lot of faith in Chesterfield

“The building will be brought back to life.

“We’re going to convert it into high-quality apartments in a sympathetic way – we won’t be knocking it down.

“It will have nice landscaping and you'll eventually see tenants walking in and out of the front door.

The property will be 'sympathetically converted'.

“I think all that will help to lift the area.”

His firm’s planning application is expected to be decided by Chesterfield Borough Council soon.

Concerns have been raised about the current state of the prominent property, which has lain derelict for six years.

Many people have described it as an ‘eyesore’.

Homes by Holmes' planning application is due to be decided soon.

Mr Holmes, who bought the building on his birthday in March, said: “We're currently emptying the property.

“There were a lot of things – including desks and cabinets – left behind.

“As soon as we’ve got planning permission, we’ll start tidying up the landscaping on the front.

“I think that will make a big difference.

“Obviously we won’t see the final landscaping until we’re near the end of the scheme.

“I think we’ll see the first people living there no later than the end of 2022.”

Mr Holmes said around 40 jobs will be created during the construction phase.

“We’ll be employing local people,” he added.

“And if any investors would be willing to lend us some money to help us with the project, that would be a bonus – we pay good rates of interest.

“We’re also environmentally-friendly, we’re creating modern homes for local people, and we're working to do it cost-effectively.”

Homes by Holmes can be contacted via [email protected].

In 2018, the council gave McCarthy and Stone planning permission to demolish the building and build 64 retirement homes at the site.

However, McCarthy and Stone has scrapped its proposals – but it has not been publicly revealed why.

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