Chesterfield Borough Council, supported by the Chesterfield Civic Society, has taken the decision to offer Tapton House for sale or rent – with the intention of restoring the vacant Grade II* Listed building to use.
The building dates from 1794 and was built by the local Wilkinsons family of bankers. It was then occupied briefly by railway pioneer George Stephenson (from 1838 to 1848) before becoming the home of the Markham family from 1873 to 1925.
It was subsequently given to the former Chesterfield Corporation by Charles Paxton Markham, who expressed hopes that it would be used for the benefit of the people of the city, leading to the establishment of the former Tapton House Secondary School, which used the site until 1991 Chesterfield College then took over the building as a base for its higher education before returning Tapton House to the council in 2018.
Councilor Dean Collins, Chesterfield Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, said: “Tapton House and the surrounding area is an important heritage site in our borough and we are committed to finding a long-term solution that will secure and preserve its future.
“Since the college vacated the building three years ago, we have overseen general repair and maintenance while searching for a suitable tenant – but we are increasingly concerned about incidents of vandalism and arson at nearby Tapton Park.
“The City Council, like Chesterfield residents, want what is best for Tapton House, which is why we are now very interested in attracting a new owner or tenant who is willing to make the significant investment it will take to make it happen to restore and refurbish buildings to a standard fit for work”.
Philip Riden, Chair of Chesterfield Civil Society, said: “The Civil Society Committee believes that the best chance of securing the future of Tapton House is for it to be leased by Borough Council on a long-term lease with planning permission for a change of use is sold back to a private home.
“If necessary, this could be coupled with the demolition of the 1931 school buildings, which are of no particular value. Public access to the site could, in our opinion, be maintained alongside the creation of a private garden adjacent to the mansion.”
The property is offered for sale for a term of 999 years at a fixed leasehold rate as a leasehold or re-leased on commercial terms.
A range of uses are being considered subject to approval – and any final decision on the sale of Tapton House will be taken by the Council Cabinet.
Under the terms of a sale or lease, there will be a small private outdoor area for the exclusive use of the new owner or tenant, but plenty of parkland remains for residents to walk around and enjoy the view of Tapton House.
The building is being marketed by Knight Frank and all inquiries should be emailed to Knight Frank’s Peter Whiteley [email protected]or call 0114 272 9750.
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