Chair of Destination Chesterfield talks progress, development and how you can help with regeneration of the town.
In commercial property circles it seems that the planning and design stages of a major project can take forever, to the point where people must wonder whether significant developments will actually ever be delivered. That’s certainly been the case for key schemes like Chesterfield Waterside, Peak Resort, Northern Gateway and Walton Works.
It’s not unusual for large scale developments to take years to actually get off the ground. The planning stage as a result of Government Policy is lengthy, expensive and very detailed, involving specialist consultants from many disciplines for a start.
By way of example, around 120 applications for precommencement planning requirements have been submitted for the Peak Resort development alone, costing approximately £1million, and that’s even before a spade has been put in the ground. Chesterfield Waterside is no different in this respect, the master planning for this important new area of the town started in 2006!
Unfortunately, it is difficult to move forward with formalising the funding of any form of development before there is some form of planning consent in place due to the cost and risks involved in the planning process.
However, recently we have seen very real progress with Peak Resort, Chesterfield Waterside and Walton Works; all three of them moving into significant phases in their delivery. Much of this progress is due in no small part to the support of Chesterfield Borough Council.
A development like Peak Resort or Chesterfield Waterside cannot be built in isolation. It is important there are the roads and buses to give easy public access, sufficient people who are work ready or coming through the local education system, enough homes for people to live in, parking, etc, the list goes on; these elements cannot be put in place overnight, they require lots of forward planning but, most importantly, funding.
Chesterfield Borough Council has been instrumental in securing Sheffield City Region (SCR) funding for Peak Resort and Chesterfield Waterside, enabling these schemes to get moving. Thanks to SCR funding both schemes are underway, making Chesterfield home to one of the largest regeneration projects and the largest leisure development in the UK.
And so my message to you all this month is, be patient. Significant things are happening, albeit behind the scenes, however we’re all in it for the long haul not a short term fix. Your patience will be rewarded with jobs, housing, investment and visitors to the town. As the old saying goes, ‘great things come to those who wait’ and that’s certainly what’s happening right now in Chesterfield.
For updates on Chesterfield, head to www.chesterfield.co.uk