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The Avenue restoration plans move forward

Plans for the renovation of a former coking works and chemical plant in Chesterfield have been announced.

The Avenue has been one of western Europe's most polluted sites since its closure in 1992, but the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has now moved to begin clear-up works that will restore the property to the state it was in back in the 19th century.

Pollutants at the site have left the area in major need of attention for several years and funding has now been delivered by the HCA that will help to return the site to its former glory.

It is a particularly daunting project to undertake as the waste at the site is not only from the coking works itself, but other waste materials were shipped into the area from other manufacturers during the facilities' years of operation.

This means more than 40 years' worth of waste needs to be dealt with, but the HCA is positive the area can be fully restored, with new clean earth being shipped in and landscaping to take place in the future to create a new public space for the local community.

Rob Pearson, head of area at the HCA, said: "This is a very special moment for us because it shows how much we have achieved here with our partners.

"There is still more work to be done until we can leave the site in a condition suitable to be used for the benefit of local people both as both a  recreational facility and to provide new homes and help create jobs for local people."

Elsewhere, the HCA also recently announced the Rowner estate in Gosport is set to undergo phase three of its development in the new year, with the latest project at the site aiming to deliver a further 175 new homes.

Local council approval for the plans was achieved on December 10th, with the scheme set to provide a range of two, three and four-bedroom homes and apartments for local buyers in a bid to help meet the area's ongoing housing shortage. 

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