Concerns raised about ‘eyesore’ building in Chesterfield town centre which has stood empty for years

Concerns have been raised about an ‘eyesore’ building in Chesterfield town centre which is still awaiting redevelopment.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 12:02 pm

In 2019, Chesterfield Borough Council gave McCarthy and Stone planning permission to demolish North East Derbyshire District Council’s (NEDDC) former headquarters on Saltergate and build 64 retirement homes at the site.

But two years on, work has not yet started – and the prominent property is looking a state.

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Councillor Howard Borrell, Chesterfield Liberal Democrats’ spokesperson for town centre and visitor economy, told the Derbyshire Times: “The old NEDDC office building is a boarded-up eyesore and now beginning to look overgrown and unkempt.

“Given the building’s very prominent town centre position this can only have a negative impact on the image of Chesterfield.

“At the time, it was exciting news that this abandoned site was to be brought back into use and that new housing would spring up, bringing more residential growth close to the centre of town.

“The long delay in actioning those promises is very disappointing.”

Councillor Howard Borrell outside North East Derbyshire District Council's former office on Saltergate in Chesterfield.

He added: “Around England there are many sites, like this, where planning permission has been given for a total of a million homes which have yet to be built.

“Yet the Government wants to take away the ability of councils and local residents to influence planning applications because, supposedly, developers are being held up by the democratic process.

“Unused sites like this one, at the very heart of Chesterfield, give the lie to that bogus claim.”

The Derbyshire Times asked McCarthy and Stone when work would start at the site.

The prominent property has been described as an 'eyesore'. Picture by Rachel Atkins.

A spokesperson said: “We do not have an update at the moment.”

We also asked the company if it wanted to respond to Coun Borrell’s concerns – but we have not received a response.

When planning permission was granted, McCarthy and Stone said: “The number of people aged over 65 in Chesterfield is due to grow by 45 per cent in the next 20 years.

"As a result, McCarthy and Stone believes that Chesterfield is in need of this type of accommodation, enabling people to live independent and healthy lives in their own home with flexible care and support available on-site 24 hours a day."

The district council was based on Saltergate for more than 30 years.

It moved to new headquarters on Mill Lane, Wingerworth, in 2015.