Chesterfield and District Civic Society have given a cautious welcome to Chesterfield Borough Council’s recent decision on Tapton House and are welcoming ‘due diligence’ moves to be taken on the bid.
At the council’s cabinet meeting on 13 December 2022 a decision was taken to lease the property to Stone Castle Enterprises Ltd. for a 999-year term. The company are proposing to turn the house into 15 apartments with three town houses and two bungalows built in place of the annexe buildings.
Chairman of the Society, Philip Riden says; ‘It’s been our view for some time that the most satisfactory long-term outcome for the house would be to return it to residential use. Consequently, we are cautiously welcoming the decision, but more details and due diligence are to be undertaken by the council and are certainly required. We also note that the company concerned has only recently been set-up.’
The developers have said that access to the parkland would be maintained and that there might be a possibility for some heritage interpretation and building access, which the society welcomes. The society does, however, have some concerns about whether it is practicable to fit 15 apartments into the house itself.
The house is Grade-II* listed. The star offers it additional protection and should guarantee that Heritage England will want to closely examine any plans for it and its setting.
The Civic Society does feel that the council has been somewhat rushed into a solution whereas, if it had been pro-active in the four years since the College lease ended, other viable options may have emerged. But the society remains clear in its view that a conversion back to residential use is the most viable action.
The Civic Society will be keeping a close eye on progress and not be uncritical where we think insufficient headway is being made or plans for its future are unsatisfactory.