Common Sense over Chesterfield Hospital Redevelopment

Nuffield are keen to redevelop the former Chesterfield Nursing Home on Clifton Hill. The planning applications were conveniently deferred by the Planning Committee back in the spring of 2011, bearing in mind the ward councillor was up for re-election in May.

The planning decision was unanimous:

RESOLVED that a decision be deferred to allow further consideration to be given to issues relating to: parking provision and restrictions on hours of use; access and servicing; travel plan; to re-visit the scale of new build; tree loss (especially beech) and compensatory planting; construction access; and the use of the listed building for conference use and the number of staff in this building.

Clifton campaigner Charles Lucas says, “It is believed Nuffield are now reapplying without addressing the deferred objections with a plan to go straight to appeal if they are refused. In the current financial climate, any private investment in medical facilities will be welcomed by central government.”

He continues, “We all want to see the fabric of the beautiful front building maintained and in use, but we should not allow over and unsuitable development to the rear to facilitate this. The proposed plans for the new building are intensive and unsympathetic with the local vernacular and its prime location within Clifton. Having said that it would appear the extra functional space will be developed by going underground and therefore the long term impact will be minimised once the excavation and development are complete.

Local residents are understandably concerned by the impact of the development particularly in respect of traffic and parking. “I am personally in favour of a variation of a Residents Parking scheme in Clifton and perhaps this area would become suitable for a trial similar to that tried in Kingsdown.

"The key point to be considered is what will happen to the site and in particular the main building to the front of the site, if this scheme is scrapped. The likely outcome will be planning consent for numerous flats which will create potentially greater problems for local residents.

"Therefore in my view we must all work with the developers to minimise the impact and maximise the benefit to Clifton. There is no doubt the new building could be vastly improved – at a cost – and the developer must be made to improve the finished new building.

"Please contact me if you wish to discuss this matter.”