Tapton House Update

In this post we look at recent developments involving the company currently the favourite to pick-up the long lease to Tapton House from Chesterfield Borough Council.

Nothing further has been made public concerning the Borough Council’s proposed sale of a long lease of Tapton House to Stone Castle Enterprise Ltd, although those concerned with the latter appear to have rearranged their interests. We have previously reviewed the ‘ins and outs’ of this company in our member newsletters, but review a few of the latest developments here. More information is available in our latest member newsletter.

Tapton House – the original south facing main entrance. Once a home, then a school and more recently a further education campus, unlike the grounds, it has never really been open to the public.

In February a company named Tapton House Development Ltd was registered, with a capital of £100 in £1 shares, all of which have been allotted to Stone Castle Enterprise Ltd. There is nothing necessarily improper or unusual for property developers to register separate companies for each project they undertake, but the three individuals concerned with the proposed purchase of Tapton House do seem to have spent a good deal of time setting up and dissolving companies, and being appointed and resigning as directors. But given the post-Covid economic situation perhaps none of this is unusual.

The most recently filed accounts for Stone Castle Enterprise Ltd (the intended purchaser of Tapton House), a balance sheet headed ‘Unaudited Filleted Accounts 30 April 2022’, reveal (to use the word in its loosest sense) that the company then had current assets of £188 and creditors falling due within one year of £200, leaving net liabilities of £12. The company has an issued share capital of £100, divided into 100 shares. All this may seem a rather slender financial basis for the purchase of a three-storey Georgian mansion and the conversion of its 30 rooms into fifteen flats.

We still feel that the best chance for this building being cared for on a long-term basis is for residential use. We fail to see how ‘community based’ projects (however well-intentioned) would be able to pay for the sustainable upkeep of the building, even once restored, particularly in the present economic circumstances. How would, for example, substantial energy costs, security, routine maintenance and required enhanced insurance cover (should the building be opened to the public) be paid for? It is also worth remembering that in its long history Tapton House has never really been opened to the public.

The Civic Society will continue to monitor developments involving this Grade II* listed building and its estate.

3 responses to “Tapton House Update”

  1. Thanks for looking into this proposal, its great that the Society continues to keep interested parties aware of “progress” in respect of the Tapton House sale.
    I do agree with the sale of the house in order to remove the large costs of its maintenance to The Borough Council but ,I strongly believe that The Council is obliged to find a deal which protects the house and grounds from anyone out to make a quick profit.

  2. Thanks for that.
    Looking at the building it seems reasonable structurally safe but on buildings of the age there can be many hidden faults for a property that old.
    One currant example is Rose Hill URC which celebrates it’s 200th Birthday in a short while but will close the Church soon after due to lack of funds to bring it up to a standard that would extend it’s life and use for many more years.
    Thousands pass it daily and it looks okay from the outside, and also inside, but construction and replacement repairs have been estimated to run into many hundreds of thousand of pounds.
    Tapton House may also have hidden problems and unless the buyers have sufficient funds there may be many years before it is of any use to anyone.
    The recent balance sheet doesn’t fill me with confidence.

    • Thanks for your comments. We are very hopeful that the Rosehill URC building will find a new purpose. We’ll also continue to keep an eye on the Tapton House situation.

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