Developer’s disappointment as ‘short-sighted’ council rejects Chesterfield redevelopment scheme

A disappointed developer has pledged to work with council officers to turn an ‘ambitious’ scheme into reality.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 1:47 pm

Chesterfield Council has rejected plans to demolish 38 High Street, Old Whittington, and replace it with three shop units and 11 one-bedroom apartments above – but James Wragg of applicant NJGC Developments, said the firm was keen to work with the authority to make the scheme more acceptable.

In its application, NJGC said: “It is a refreshing and positive attempt to improve this area, which has struggled over the years.”

However, rejecting the proposal, the council said the replacement building would be a “highly incongruous building which will dominate the terraced row and the surrounding area to the detriment of the character of the street scene”, as well as that some of the proposed residential units were “below national space standards”.

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Mr Wragg said: “I’m disappointed they didn’t support the application.

“We agree with some of their points, but I think it’s a little bit short-sighted, as it’s supposed to be a regeneration area, where they are encouraging redevelopment, and I don’t think they’ve taken that into consideration.

“We’re trying to re-engage with the planners to see what we need to do to make it more acceptable.

“We were quite ambitious with it, We wanted to put quite a contemporary building there, a little bit higher than the other properties.

The site of the proposed scheme on High Street, Old Whittington.
The site of the proposed scheme on High Street, Old Whittington.

“Similar schemes happen in areas like Sheffield. They have a bit more of a view of the future and are a bit more forward-thinking.”

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Close to listed building

A council report into the scheme highlighted its proximity to Old Whittington conservation area, which contains a number of listed buildings, including the Grade II*-listed Revolution House.

An architectural drawing of how the development would look from High Street.

However, Mr Wragg said: “They seem to be concerned it is close to a conservation area and listed building, but its not in a conservation area and the listed building is 100 metres away, so I don’t feel it had much of an effect.”

He also rejected the council’s claim the homes were too small.

Mr Wragg said: “They were small, affordable one-bedroom flats, but complied with the national space standard.

“We are going to try to work with the council to see what we can do to revise the scheme, to make it more acceptable and address their concerns.”

The council has been invited to comment.

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