Fears over anti-social behaviour at Chesterfield club
A councillor has raised concerns about Travellers gaining access to an empty Chesterfield community centre site.
The former BRSA Club, on Station Road, Hollingwood, has already become a magnet for anti-social behaviour as attempts to turn it into a hub for the community are delayed by red tape.
Councillor Mick Bagshaw, who represents Hollingwood on Chesterfield Borough Council and Staveley Town Council, said he was deeply concerned to hear youngsters are getting onto the roof of the building.
It follows an arson attack at the site last October and repeated incidents of vandals breaking in and causing damage.
"The time has now come for positive action before any harm or injury occurs as the recent heavy downpours have resulted in the roof collapsing causing more danger to the teens who keep entering the derelict building,” Coun Bagshaw said.
"I have also had reports of alleged drug activity there.
"This building has now gone beyond repair owing to the time it is taking for a decision on the building, which is a shame as it holds so many childhood memories for me and many others.”
Coun Bagshaw first joined forces with Coun Paul Mann and the town clerk at Staveley Town Council in a bid to reopen the site last November.
He says some of the building’s trustees wish to sell the building – but he would like to see it reopened for sport, keep fit classes and toddler groups.
“I have had meetings at Staveley Town Hall, with Hollingwood Residents’ Association and a local football league to try and get the land to better use or buy it and get funding for a new build,” Coun Bagshaw added.
"However the solicitors acting on behalf of the trustees have been instructed to sell it rather than gift it back to the community.”
Last year, Travellers also pitched up at the club site and ‘left it in a right mess, including leaving human excrement’.
“We are expecting them back at the club again,” Coun Bagshaw added.
We have contacted the legal company involved, Taylor & Emmet Solicitors, for a comment from the trustees but not yet had a response.