SAVED: Plans to demolish '˜much-loved' historic Chesterfield building refused

A plan to demolish a '˜much-loved' historic building in Chesterfield and build new homes in its place has been scrapped.

Tuesday, 10th January 2017, 2:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th January 2017, 2:56 pm
The Shrubberies, Newbold Road, Chesterfield.

The proposal, put forward by Peppermint Grove Ltd of Chesterfield, to build 13 new properties on Newbold Road and knock down The Shrubberies building was rejected by Chesterfield Borough Council’s planning committee on Monday. The plans had expected to be given the go-ahead.

The building was built in 1876 and used as a nurses home in the 20th century. It is currently derelict and was last used as an office building for the NHS Primary Care Trust.

It has been suggested the site includes a covenant, meaning the building should not be knocked down and that tree preservation orders are in place.

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As a result, the application was refused because the loss of the existing building and trees would be detrimental to the appearance of the area and its ecology.

Reacting to the decision, resident Matt Barnett, of Cobden Road, said: “We hope that future proposals for the site take advantage of this historical and environmental asset, as well as hoping that the developers take the time to work with the local community to come up with an acceptable proposal, which deemed suitable by all parties. I would gladly help the developers with this arrangement, if given the opportunity.”

At least a dozen people living nearby raised concerns of the proposed felling of the trees, the potential impact it would have on their privacy, the potential increase in traffic and loss of light.

In a letter to the borough council regarding concerns over light, Audrey Johnson, also of Cobden Road, said: “As a disabled 76-year-old this would deny me the pleasure of sitting in my back garden with my dog - one of the few pleasures I still have in life.

“The Shubberies, or ‘Matrons’ as it was formally known is a much loved building and held with great affection by the local community. To see its loss would be a great shame.”

A letter by Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins said he has been contacted by a constituent who believes the site includes a covenant saying the building should not be knocked down and that tree preservation orders are in place.

Planning documents state the building was constructed on the site during the late 19th century, originally as two attached properties. Mid 20th century ordnance survey maps indicate that it was a nurses home.

A planning officer for the borough council said: “In the opinion of the local planning authority the loss of the existing building will result in the erosion of the character of the area to the detriment of the appearance of the local area.

“Furthermore, the loss of protected trees will be detrimental to the character of the area having regard to the ecological and amenity contribution they provide.

“The local planning authority consider therefore that the development does not respond to and integrate with the character of the site and surroundings and respect the local distinctiveness of its context and will therefore be at odds with policies CS9 and CS18 of the Core Strategy 2011 – 2031.”

View the application on the Chesterfield Borough Council website using the reference: CHE/16/00591/FUL