Opinion: Chesterfield Hotel is an eyesore – it’s time for it to go
Chesterfield Hotel served the town very well over the years – but it’s time for it to go.
I walked past the huge building for the first time in a while the other day and it is looking so very ugly with its graffitied walls and boarded-up windows.
It’s such a massive eyesore in a part of Chesterfield which is evolving – just across the road at the Waterside site, a modern office block is springing up and a ‘major hotel brand’ is interested in moving to the location.
The run-down property is one of the first things people see as they leave Chesterfield railway station – it doesn’t provide a warm welcome to our great town at all.
The hotel, which opened in 1877, closed back in 2015.
Two years later, the building was bought by a firm which at one point did announce plans to reopen it as a hotel – but that never happened.
Last year, Chesterfield Borough Council revealed it had acquired the Malkin Street site, and work is now taking place to clear and strip out the inside of the property before it is demolished.
A number of people tell the Derbyshire Times they would like to see the old hotel turned into accommodation for the homeless.
That is a laudable suggestion – but according to the council, the costs to remodel and refurbish the building to bring it back into productive use are ‘too high’.
After demolition, a temporary car park is expected to be created at the site while proposals for its future are developed as part of the council’s HS2 Station Master Plan.
Councillors last year approved an outline planning application to build offices and a car park with around 40 spaces at the location.
As plans progress, it is important that the council consults with members of the public and carefully considers their feedback.
Whatever the future holds for the site, let’s hope it is positive for Chesterfield and helps to breathe new life into that area of town.
So many of us have happy memories of Chesterfield Hotel – whether it’s working there or celebrating special occasions within its walls – and those joyous recollections will always stay with us.
But the building has now definitely had its day.