Derbyshire Council puts former adult education centre up for sale - with bids starting at £420,000

The county council is selling a former adult education centre in a “well-to-do leafy street” in Chesterfield for £420,000.

Monday, 27th April 2020, 2:22 pm
Updated Monday, 27th April 2020, 2:23 pm

Derbyshire County Council, through WT Parker, is selling Hurst House in Abercrombie Road, across from Chesterfield College’s West Studios, for the hefty sum as it faces an uphill struggle to make urgent budget cuts.

The former adult education centre has already been earmarked to return to residential use – with a planning application filed by Kevin Burns to Chesterfield Borough Council in December.

It has been left disused since 2014 and was used as an annexe for Chesterfield Grammar School from 1928, before its use by the county council.

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Hurst House on Abercrombie Street, Chesterfield.

The three-storey “mock Italian style villa” was built in 1847 and is Grade-II listed with the county council saying “the property possesses significant character and heritage”.

Built by Francis Hurst, a draper, the house includes six offices, four reception rooms, a kitchen, a staircase to the two attic rooms originally used by servants, a cellar and a large garden.

The Chesterfield and District Civic Society became “seriously concerned” in 2017 that Hurst House was standing empty and was deteriorating.

Philip Riden, chair of the civic society, said in December: “The civic society committee in principle welcomes the application to restore Hurst House to residential use.

“As the borough council is aware, the committee has for the last 12 months been pressing Derbyshire County Council to sell Hurst House to someone who will make proper use of it, instead of leaving it empty and potentially deteriorating.

“The committee sees little to object to in the proposed new interior layout, which will enable Hurst House to become an attractive private residence again.”

The county council has listed the property on its website with a guide price of £420,000 and the home is said to be sold subject to contract.

A report from the civic society says the value of the home is around half a million pounds and neighbouring properties have sold for £410,000.

A conservation appraisal of the area by the borough council in 2009 says “the houses of Abercrombie Street stand as a monument to the wealth, respectability and desire for privacy of their early Victorian builders”.

The county council is currently aiming to make nearly £19 million in budget cuts over the next financial year and £65 million by the end of the 2024 financial year.