Historic gardener’s house for former Derbyshire estate to be demolished

One of the last remaining historic buildings belonging to a former Derbyshire estate is to be demolished and replaced with a modern house as developers had concerns over its structural integrity.

By Christina Massey
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 2:57 pm

Hockley House, in Hockley Lane, Wingerworth, dates back at least 260 years and was originally built for the gardener of the once grand Wingerworth Hall, which itself was demolished in 1924.

Stancliffe Homes was originally granted permission to extend the existing property, however work revealed a lack of foundations and the developer instead applied to replace the building with a five-bedroomed property.

Speaking in a meeting of North East Derbyshire District Council’s Planning Committee, Stephen Jones, of Stancliffe Homes, said the subsequent cost of underpinning the property meant it was not a viable option.

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One of the last remaining historic buildings belonging to a former Derbyshire estate is to be demolished and replaced with a modern house as developers had concerns over its structural integrity

He explained: “We have to provide a structural warranty with any properties that we sell and you will have seen that we have started to strip around the site.

“To be quite honest we were quite taken aback with what we’ve found because basically once we’d stripped the surface off there’s the bottom of the walls and so we would have to underpin the whole building both internally and externally in order for it to be structurally acceptable.”

Planning committee chairman Councillor Diana Ruff commented: “I am quite disappointed, I know it’s not a listed building but it is part of Wingerworth’s history and I know quite a lot of residents are upset that it is going to be demolished.”

She said a lot of buildings in the area of a similar age didn’t have foundations and she was surprised the developer could not ‘work around’ it, but added that she understood the legal side of the situation.

Mr Jones said he would be happy for an accurate photographic record of the building and an acknowledgement of the site’s former use to be made for further reference, and it was agreed officers would look into the possibility of a blue plaque being erected of the site.

The application was approved.