Which Ilkeston town centre site is set for major regeneration plan

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A derelict pub in Ilkeston town centre is set to be demolished to create 19 houses and a proposed business centre – which project bosses say will breathe new life into the area.

The plan to demolish the former Poplar pub building, on Bath Street, to make way for a proposed new business centre and road to a selection of homes, has been put forward by Derby based developer Ian Hodgkinson.

The director of Hodgkinson Builders has put in an application for planning, which he hopes will be successful.

Eighteen of the 19 new homes that will be built on the new road, to the rear of the business centre have already been pre-sold to Futures Housing.

“This could be the start of the Bath Street revival.”

Mr Hodgkinson said: “I’ve had plans to redevelop the Poplar for a while as its been on my radar for a few years and the time is right now. “There are lots of benefits of having a business centre in Ilkeston, especially with Ilkeston train station being so close.

“There is also a demand for affordable housing in the area, with more and more people looking to live in areas such as Ilkeston with an easy commute to Nottingham and Derby.”

The proposed business centre won’t be completely new, Hodgkinson plan to utilize material from the pub, such as the stonework and signage to create some original features and retain the history of The Poplar pub and area.

In its current state, the unused pub is dangerous and an eyesore – and the plan has been welcomed by nearby businesses.

“I’m really excited at the prospect of a new business centre opening, having been based on Bath Street for the last three years, the state of the area annoys me and it’s clear that the area needs a serious facelift.” said Tina Clough, managing director of Poppy PR.

“I’d welcome any development, whether that’s housing, a business centre or a mix. It would be really interesting to raise our profile with other businesses in the area if a business centre does open.”

The new homes will be made up of two and three bed housees and apartments.

The 19th house on the street will be a barn conversion that will be up for sale.

“It’s great to put something back into Ilkeston,” explained Ilkeston born and bred Ian. “It is something which has been a lifelong dream of mine.”

If planning is approved, Hodgkinson Builders hope to start work in the New Year, completing the build in mid 2020.

The plans to regenerate the area have been welcomed by other businesses.

Alan Boucker, director of development & investment at Futures Housing Group, said: “Futures is pleased to be able to partner with Hodgkinson’s on this exciting regeneration project.

“These new homes will contribute to our ambitious development programme which will see us deliver more than 1,000 homes through the East Midlands by 2020.

“I’m aware of Ian Hodgkinson’s plans for Bath Street.” said Ian Viles, chief Executive of Erewash Partnership.

“We welcome the developments planned by Ian and believe that they will act as a catalyst for further regeneration in that area of the town.”

Other businesses located in Bath Street have also shown their support.

Ruth Goth, owner of Petals Flower, said: “We are supportive of the businesses centre and housing development if it does happen, the bottom end of town did pick up at one point, but we’ve since had a decline in footfall recently, due do the lack of desirable accommodation in the area.”

And Selina Dorn, owner of Paragon Black Belt Academy added: “I’m keen for the project to go ahead, as long as it attracts the right kind of people and businesses to the area.”