Eyesore in Ford Street, Derby, could make way for 'unique' show home to entice Europe's elite
EUROPE'S wealthy elite could soon be coming to stay in a Derby show home to experience bespoke fitted kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms, if a planning application is successful.
Fitted furniture specialist Osborne of Ilkeston wants to demolish derelict pub the Late Bar in Ford Street, Derby, and replace it with the showhome, plus apartments, at a cost of about £2 million.
The firm's owner, Paul Osborne, has owned the two-storey, detached site for a "couple of years", and said that the new venture was an "unique" idea.
He said that anybody would be able to come and stay in the show home, but added that much of the firm's sales were made to wealthy people in Europe.
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He said: "It gives people the opportunity to experience a bedroom or a bathroom before they buy it. Individuals, families or couples would be able to come and stay for a weekend and, for example, try out a bed or oven themselves.
"People who perhaps fly here on business could stay there as part of their trip."
Asked if he expected visitors to include the continent's super-rich, Mr Osborne said: "Hopefully they will have a few bob."
He said his company, which has operated in Ilkeston for 30 years, sold one-off fittings rather than selling in bulk so that visitors would most likely be people buying for their own homes.
Mr Osborne said the Late Bar was a "terrible eyesore for Derby" and added that he hoped the council would see it was time for it to be knocked down.
He said: "We've been trying to remove it but to do that we need to have a successful planning application.
"It's an absolute wreck inside as well. We've had squatters living there.
"If we get permission I'd like to knock it down this spring."
The company has applied for permission to demolish the pub, and create the showroom, a secure parking garage and three apartments.
Mr Osborne said that the apartments would be separate permanent living accommodation.
Councillor Gulfraz Nawaz, who represents Arboretum ward, where the Late Bar is located, said he thought that the application was "an excellent idea".
He said: "A lot of that area has been developed recently so it sticks out like a sore thumb.
"It would be a good thing if we had a business there which could create new jobs."
Mr Nawaz said he was not aware that the building had attracted anti-social behaviour.
A final decision on the application is expected to be made by the city's council's planning control committee on Tuesday, March 19.