No homes will be built on former Coalite site - because HS2 will cut straight through it

Reclamation work at the former Coalite site at Shuttlewood
Reclamation work at the former Coalite site at Shuttlewood

The total number of homes to be built on huge former mining Derbyshire site will now be ZERO because HS2 will cut straight through it.

Close to Junction 29a of the M1, near Bolsover, the former Coalite site covers a huge 120 acres.

The  former Coalite site at Shuttlewood

The former Coalite site at Shuttlewood

Bolsover Land Limited, a joint venture between and DSM Group and Marcol Industrial, backed by Derbyshire County Council, had plans to bring the former mining site back into use.

It submitted plans for hundreds of homes and a staggering amount of space for new business.

However, the number of homes set to be built on the Coalite site has now plummeted from the proposed 660 to zero.

This is because the proposed route of HS2 Phase 2b, connecting Birmingham with Manchester and Leeds, will pass directly through the site.

The Coalite site at Shuttlewood

The Coalite site at Shuttlewood

The developers say that this has made house-building on the former mine ‘undeliverable’.

Instead, the site would now only offer warehouse space for new businesses but the amount of space on offer will increase, as will the number of jobs the development will create.

From the proposed 70 acres of employment floorspace, the site will now have 105 acres.

Meanwhile, the number of potential jobs created will increase from 1,525 to 2,391.

A new planning application for the updated scheme will be submitted to North East Derbyshire District Council later this year.

These changes will hit the overall project’s completion dates.

The development, which has received a combined £7.8 million from the county council and the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, was intended to have all the new employment space completed by the end of the current financial year.

However, this will now not start until next year and will not be completed until 2024.

Initial costs for the development had been £23 million.

The site had operated as a coal mine from 1936 until 2004 – employing thousands of people during that time.

At its peak, in 1972, the Bolsover site employed 1,200 people.

Bolsover Land Limited bought the land in 2012 with an aim to both regenerate a large contaminated brownfield site and to help reduce the pressure on the protected north Derbyshire green belt.

Costly work to remediate the site to bring it into use has been taking place since 2016 – with delays obtaining permits from the Environment Agency  hindering progress.

Phase one was completed in 2017 and phase two is set for completion in 2021, it is thought.

A report ahead of a meeting of the D2N2 investment board at the county council’s headquarters this month details how the impact of HS2 has now also hit the development.

It says: “Following the confirmation of the proposed route, there will now be significant impacts to some of the plots on the site which will affect the delivery of housing units and the overall floorspace available for delivery. 

“The impact of HS2 has made the residential element of the original masterplan undeliverable and therefore employment units will have to replace this allocation.”

The updated floorspace and job targets are also detailed in the report.

A website dedicated to the project still says: “The Coalite Regeneration is an exciting project to clean-up the former Coalite Works in Bolsover to create hundreds of new jobs, homes and public open space in Bolsover and North East Derbyshire.”

A document, published in May 2018 by the North East Derbyshire District Council and Bolsover District Council, says: “the residential use was expected to have a higher value than the employment which was speculative in nature with no end users lined up”.

Nigel Lax, development director at Bolsover Land Limited, said: “We have had to revise the plans due to the impacts of HS2 and now have an entirely employment-based master plan as the residential element for the consented scheme was no longer viable.

“The latest plans reflect the excellent work we have done, with both local councils and Historic England, on developing a design framework to ensure high standards of design quality across the site as individual plots come forward for development.

“A fresh planning application for further employment uses within North East Derbyshire District Council is therefore being prepared and is due to be submitted shortly.  

“Further reserved matters planning applications have also been submitted. These include detailed designs for specific plots.

“Despite the impacts on timescales and design we expect the latest plans to result in an increase of over 800 new jobs, taking the total jobs created to circa 2,250.”

An HS2 Ltd spokesperson said: “We have been working closely with Bolsover Land Ltd over the last two years to minimise impacts on the proposed Tudor Cross scheme (Coalite). 

“The route of Britain’s new high speed railway through the region will require small areas of their land, and we are working to support the company deliver their projects including their plans to construct industrial property. 

“HS2 will deliver major benefits to the East Midlands. 

“It is integral to local plans to drive business growth, create jobs and secure investment in the area years before it arrives, particularly with the regeneration opportunities provided by the new station at Toton. 

“The East Midlands Growth Strategy predicts that HS2 could help support 74,000 jobs and add an extra £4 billion a year to the regional economy.”

Eddie Bisknell , Local Democracy Reporting Service