AN ALTERNATIVE suggestion for the Stanton site was well received by a 200 strong audience who turned out to see a presentation on the future of the old ironworks site.
Dr Geraint Coles, development manager for the Chesterfield Canal Trust, spoke to a packed auditorium, at Sandiacre Friesland Performing Arts College, about what could be achieved at the Stanton site.
His suggestions included restoring the canal that ran through the old ironworks and two areas where narrow boats could moor.
On feedback forms handed out by campaign group Green Squeeze, who organised the meeting, 95 per cent of people said that they wanted to see a waterside development on the site.
Paul Harvey, chairman of Green Squeeze, said: “We’ve had an overwhelming response. Since the meeting we’ve had some fantastic feedback from members of the public and councillors who all thought the idea is worth taking further.
“The next step is to make sure we keep building momentum, we can’t afford to have everyone say what a good idea it is and then not act.
“We need to get St Gobain and Erewash Borough Council talking and see if they can reach a conclusion that everyone is happy with.”
People who attended the meeting heard Dr Coles talk about the ongoing Chesterfield Waterside project that he had been involved with and how what has been learned from that development could be applied to draw up a new approach to Stanton.
He explained that including a canal basin in the development would attract tourism, jobs and create revenue.
“100 - 120 narrow boats could fit in one of these basins, four narrow boats pay around £10,000 to moor for a year.
“There is a lot of money to be made from the canal when you work it out.
“There are other benefits too, property by water is worth more money, making the developer profit and providing high quality homes.
“We may have lost the industry but the heritage is still there and that could be the future.”
Paul Harvey added: “It was a great presentation and people really enjoyed seeing that something like this is possible and could be achieved.
“It would be great if the next move by the developer and the council was to find out about the costings and returns for a project similar to what Dr Coles has suggested and get a planning application ready.”