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Design contests on cards for £300 million Chesterfield Waterside

Developer Urbo has said it is looking to launch design competitions for a number of key scheme within its 25ha Chesterfield Waterside Project

Last week, the specialist regeneration company, working in partnership with the local council under the Chesterfield Waterside Partnership banner, submitted the largest planning application in the town’s history for the new £300 million urban village next to the A61.

Almost five years in the making, the outline masterplan for the riverside plot on the edge of Chesterfield town centre has been drawn up Edaw/Aecom.

Urbo, which is controlled by Chesterfield-based Bolsterstone PLC and Arnold Laver Group, has already appointed Manchester-based OMI Architects to look at early housing projects in the Riverside East section of the development.

It has also said it was considering architectural contests for a number of possible pavilion buildings in the basin square ‘and other significant areas of the site’.

The focal point for Chesterfield Waterside will be a new public square sitting next to the recently completed canal basin. The developer intends to restore the existing waterways to form a green corridor ‘with extensive public open spaces and an eco park’. Pubic space and parkland will make up approximately a third of the overall site area.

Urbo’s announcement comes as Chesterfield Borough Council has approved an new masterplan for the town centre, prepared by Manchester-based regeneration co-operative URBED.

This separate masterplan sets out a long-term ‘vision for retail, commercial and residential growth, whilst protecting Chesterfield’s beautifully preserved medieval core, famous for its 13th century Crooked Spire and two thriving market squares’.

The masterplan aims to link the existing centre into the Waterside Project, possibly through an ambitious, new ‘green bridge’ pedestrian link ‘over the [A61] concrete canyon’ (see station approach on attached masterplan document).

Senior consultant at URBED Jonathan Brown said: ‘We have all been bowled over by the bustle of Chesterfield’s outdoor market, which remains one of the best in the country, and the stock of historic buildings. The medieval square has a very European feel, and Queen’s Park is an absolute gem.’

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