Controversial plans to convert derelict Chesterfield pub into supermarket given go-ahead
Plans to convert a disused Chesterfield pub into a supermarket have been given the green light by council chiefs – despite dozens of objections from local residents.
More than 50 objections were submitted to Chesterfield Council, the local planning authority, against the proposal for The Devonshire pub on Occupation Road, Newbold, citing increased traffic on an already narrow and congested road with limited parking, as well as that a supermarket is unnecessary, given that there is another convenience store almost opposite.
Rajesh and Hetal Patel, owners of the nearby Go Local store, also objected – as well as submitting a petition of more than 75 signatures opposing the scheme – claiming they purchased the shop, formerly Virk Food & Wine Store, from the applicant, Amrik Virk, and a “restrictive covenant” was applied, “not to use the neighbouring property as a convenience store”, as well as that a supermarket that close would ruin their business.
Two of the three ward councillors also objected, citing traffic issues and that there are already enough retail facilites in the area, although Coun Gordon Simmons, ward member and vice-chairman of the council’s planning committee, backed it, saying: “Pleased to see this. The building is an eyesore and has been broken into several times.”
Parking signs required
And the committee has now granted conditional permission to the scheme, with conditions including signs highlighting the lack of car parking to be agreed with the authority and parking for three bicycles to be provided.
A report by council officers to the committee ahead of their meeting, recommending approval, said: “Having consideration for the observations and taking into account the historic use of the site and approved use, the proposal
is not considered to cause significant adverse impacts on residential amenity of the adjoining neighbours or a significant impact to highway safety.”
Mr Patel said he and his wife were “very disappointed” by the decision and were planning to talk to their solicitor about their next move.
He said: “We don’t understand how the council can give permission when there were so many objections and so many shops nearby already, there’s no need for it, plus they’ve already got permission for flats there.”
Plans to convert the derelict pub into four apartments was granted conditional planning permission in 2019.