Chesterfield Borough Council planners reject developer's bid to build apartments block on car park behind old NE Derbyshire District Council offices
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James Holmes, managing director of Homes by Holmes, sought outline planning consent from Chesterfield Borough Council for 18 apartments behind the former NE Derbyshire District Council offices on Saltergate.
Nearby residents inundated the borough council with complaints about the proposal for the block of two-storey flats. Steve Jepson wrote: “I vehemently object to the proposed development as a four storey building will be very close to the rear of our property which will be substantially overlooked by it. This will lead to loss of privacy for our family and will diminish the enjoyment of my children who love to play in the rear garden. The height and close proximity of the building will also lead to a significant loss of natural light to the rear of our property.”
Chesterfield and District Civic Society voiced its opposition to the plan saying that it was premature to consider the development of the car park when no viable future has been found for the old council office building.
James Homes also owns the former NEDDC office building and in 2021 was granted permission by borough planners to convert it into 59 apartments. However, Mr Holmes told the Derbyshire Times in October 2021 that all work on the project had stopped as a result of a £250,000 Community Infrastructure Levy charge imposed by the borough council – which the authority said it had ‘no power’ to waive. He now has just eight months remaining on that planning consent before it lapses.
Commenting on the application to build on the car park, Keith Beswick who is force designing out officer at Derbyshire Police said: “The site has suffered significant dereliction since being vacated, so in principle residential occupation is very much welcomed, to encourage ownership and appropriate activity within the enclosed courtyard. However, if development as proposed within this application were to be detrimental to progressing the extent permission to convert the existing vacant offices into residential use for any reason, I would see this proposal as unacceptable for the viability of the wider site.”