Chesterfield council releases statement on station plans after HS2 eastern leg scrapped

Council chiefs have released a statement about their plans to transform Chesterfield railway station after news HS2’s eastern leg will not serve the town.

Monday, 22nd November 2021, 3:59 pm

Government ministers confirmed last week that the high speed rail link from London and Birmingham will now stop at an East Midlands hub near Nottingham and not continue to Chesterfield, Sheffield and Leeds.

The decision has been described as a ‘bitter blow’ and a ‘disaster for Chesterfield’ because of the number of future jobs which hinged on a high speed link and a proposed train maintenance depot at Staveley.

There were also concerns the announcement would delay or hider long-standing plans to revitalise the area around Chesterfield railway station – one of the key gateways to the town centre.

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Council chiefs have released a statement about their masterplan for Chesterfield railway station after news HS2’s eastern leg will not serve the town. Image: Whittam Cox Architects.

However, council leaders confirmed today the masterplan for the station was not dependent on HS2.

A Chesterfield Borough Council spokesperson said: “The regeneration of the train station area is a key priority for us and was always designed so it could progress independently and ahead of HS2 East being delivered in full.

"However, clearly the plans would have capitalised on the opportunities offered to us by the HS2 scheme we were promised, and they must now go ahead in their own right as part of our wider regeneration of this area.”

Members of the council’s cabinet approved plans to rejuvenate the area between Chesterfield town centre and the station in February this year.

They say the masterplan could create around 850 jobs in the town by unlocking develpment opportunities in the station area.

Other key proposals under the plan included a new public ‘boulevard’ for pedestrians and cyclists – including segregated cycle lanes – leading from the station to Corporation Street and a new station link road between Brimington Road and Hollis Lane with improved public transport access.

Alan Morey, major sites officer at the borough council, gave a presentation about the plans earlier in the year, which aim to create a ‘positive first impression of Chesterfield’.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of the authority, has described the proposals as ‘really exciting’.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said in Parliament last week that HS2 trains will travel north to Chesterfield and beyond but using existing, upgraded tracks not a dedicated high speed line.