AN artist’s impression of the potential look of a historic Grade II-listed site has been revealed - months after it was purchased and saved from its long-term dereliction by a local firm.
The coal drops site, under the former Penistone-Woodhead Line which was once a leading hub of the railway in the north, consists of six arched segments which date back to the mid-19th century.
The line was closed during the so-called Beeching cuts in the 1960s, but much of the infrastructure remains with the old platforms, trackbed and station buildings still visible as acquired by Fairbank Investments earlier this year.
A spokesperson from the firm said: “People may have noticed that since purchasing the coal drops in March 2023 we have cleaned up the site considerably.
“This was to enable architects and engineers to survey the coal drops and surrounding land in preparation to deliver a suitable project for this prestigious gateway site to Penistone.
“We have been working hard behind the scenes to create, what we think, is a fantastic scheme that will add benefit and value to Penistone and its community.
“As such we would like to release our preferred concept drawings to show how we envisage the coal drops and the land, which runs along side the Trans Pennine Trail, will look.
“It has always been our aim to maintain the authenticity of the coal drops and the railway theme and we believe these ideas reflect that.
“These drawings are subject to local authority approval and all necessary planning consents.
“At this stage we have simply released our ideas purely to engage with you, the local community and judge the feedback.
“In addition to the economic benefits of the development scheme, Fairbank Investments is also committed to minimising its environmental impact.
“The company plans to use sustainable building practices and technologies throughout the site clear and build, including renewable energy sources, to reduce the carbon footprint of the development.”
The company has a track record of successful, sustainable development projects such as the old David Brown factory nearly, revitalising the site by transforming it into a new business park with 15,000sq ft of offices and a further 66,000sq ft of warehouse space.
Antony Green, managing director of Fairbank Investments, added: “The coal drops are a hugely important site of cultural and historical interest in Penistone and we want to help preserve this heritage, rather than see the site continue to fall into further disrepair.
“We are thrilled to be taking on this new project and are looking for the co-operation of neighbouring land owners to enable us to deliver a scheme that will benefit Penistone.”
Coun Hannah Kitching, leader of the Lib Dems in Barnsley, encouraged residents to put forward their own plans for the ‘iconic’ site.
She said: “I think everyone is in agreement that it’s the last bit on the entrance to Penistone that is is need of some regeneration.
“There’s always the chance to grow Penistone and it’s really interesting - I’d encourage the community to put forward their plans.”