Huge £110m plans for Chesterfield to bring HS2, hundreds of homes and transform infamous town roundabout
Colossal plans to bring HS2, hundreds of jobs and homes to Chesterfield could cost £90 million.
Meanwhile, another plan for the town, being fielded by Derbyshire County Council, the overhaul of the infamous Whittington Moor roundabout, could cost £20 million.
For the authority to bid for government money to push the schemes forward, the council itself must underwrite some of the costs.
In total, the council must underwrite costs of £15 million to bid for support for the huge schemes.
Of this, £12 million would be for the Chesterfield-Staveley Regeneration Route and £3 million would be for the grade separation on the A61 roundabout.
The county council says, in papers to be discussed by the authority’s cabinet on Thursday, June 6, that it would have to take out a loan in order to underwrite the costs.
This is regardless of the fact that developers are set to “substantially, if not wholly” meet the costs of the schemes.
This loan could cost the authority £1 million each year and could also mean that it has to make cuts elsewhere in its budget.
It already has to cut £63 million by 2023. Derbyshire County Council’s budget this year is £519.5 million.
A council report says: “It is still a requirement that the council underwrites a potential £15 million of expenditure for the schemes to progress.
“The only method available to the council to do this would be via borrowing at an estimated annual cost of up to £1 million.
“Whilst it is still too early to tell, this could require reductions in other services to accommodate this pressure.
“As a result, ahead of committing to this expenditure, it would be necessary to have legal agreements in place to guarantee the availability of developer contributions.”
The council says that “there is also good reason to expect that firm commitments from some developers will be in place before there is a need for a specific commitment from the council itself”.
Chesterfield Borough Council is to be put in control of securing commitments from developers – of which the main two are Chatsworth Estates and St Gobain.
The two firms own the land on which the massive Staveley regeneration site – covering 370 acres of former industrial land – would sit.
They plan to build a “whole new sustainable community” containing 1,500 new homes and supported by its own local centre and primary school.
A massive depot for infrastructure maintenance of the HS2 high speed rail project would also be brought forward with the scheme – creating up to 250 high skilled jobs.
The borough council has pitched for the Staveley depot site to be used as a base for the construction of HS2.
Meanwhile, the council says that it must also bankroll other costs for the two schemes, including money for design work, preparing planning applications and building the substantial business cases for the projects.
For the Whittington Moor roundabout, council officers have estimated £850,000 for engineering design, business case development and project management.
For the Chesterfield-Staveley Regeneration Route they predict £1.25 million, also for engineering design, business case development and project management.
The authority says that these will be carried out in stages for both projects and “can be halted” if they fail to pass the business case stage for obtaining government funding.