Council chiefs back plans to bring 'wow factor' to gateway to Chesterfield
Council bosses have backed plans to revitalise the area around Chesterfield Station – and give it a ‘wow factor’.
Presenting a report to the cabinet meeting, Alan Morey, council strategic planning and key sites manager, said: “The report is to update you all on the consultation on the masterplan.”
The area is identified as a ‘strategic regeneration area’ in the council’s Local Plan, and a draft masterplan was approved by the council in February, leading to the online consultation.
The plan was developed following the announcement of proposals for the planned HS2 high-speed railway between London and the north, including at least one hourly stopping service at Chesterfield.
It is designed “to reinvent the train station and rail travel as an integral part of the town centre”, including creating “a station environment centred around passenger needs”, “enhancing the station’s role as a gateway to North Derbyshire and the Peak District” and to “create a positive first impression, ‘wow factor’ of Chesterfield".
The report says: “The council has been working to make the most of the likely economic benefits of HS2.”
Plans include: new developable plots to accommodate a mix of uses with the potential to generate at least 853 jobs; closure of the A61 on-slip road; and a new station link road, a through route, between Brimington Road and Hollis Lane.
Other highlights include a new public ‘boulevard’ for pedestrians and cyclists leading from the station to Corporation Street; replacement of the existing A61 bridge between the station area and Corporation Street with a new wider bridge; and a ‘travel hub’ including a 550-space, multi-storey car park and space to accommodate a new cycle hub.
Mr Morey said the consultation website had attracted almost 1,400 visits.
The consultation revealed 40 per cent of respondents said the current station layout “causes difficulties” for them when accessing it.
Comments included a need for more buses, “difficulty crossing the road” and “crossing the A61 slip outside Chesterfield Hotel is a death trap”.
Other comments about current station access included “it is not cycle friendly”, “traffic moving too fast” and “dangerous bends”, while the walking route to the station was branded an “eyesore”, “dingy and dismal” and “littered with unprofessional graffiti.”
The report said: “Issues exist for all modes approaching the station, with particular issues noted for pedestrians, cyclists and bus users. The bus-user environment was considered the worst-scoring of the existing station environments.”
Mr Morey told the meeting: “As a result of the consultation, a number of changes have been made. These are mostly technical in detail, regarding highways and details of walking and cycle routes.
"The overall principle of the masterplan remains the same.”
Coun Dean Collins, cabinet member for economic growth and Labour member for Lowgates and Woodthorpe, said: “I welcome this comprehensive masterplan, which will provide 800 jnew jobs.
“It will transform the area. The regeneration and jobs this will bring to this area are very much needed.”
Councillors agreed unanimously to approve the report as “the council’s preferred regeneration strategy for the land around Chesterfield railway station”.
Work will now take place to plan “delivery options for the proposals”.