Post-WW2 Housing

The “New” Houses

New Houses 3

The wartime government of Winston Churchill set up the Burt Committee, in 1942, to address an anticipated shortfall in post-war housing stock. In preparation, Staveley U.D.C. completed an unlined water storage reservoir and approved, in principle, plans for post-war housing at Barrow Hill.[1]

In July 1943, Staveley Urban District Council (U.D.C.) asked the Ministry of Health for approval to borrow £680 to purchase some land at Barrow Hill for post-war housing and permission was granted in October 1943.

The Housing (Temporary Accommodation) Act 1944 allowed councils to compulsorily purchase land and prepare it for development. That same year, in March 1944, Staveley U.D.C. discussed a scheme to build 88 houses on a site of 8 ½ acres in the first post-war year.

By the summer of 1944, the names of the roads were under discussion and it was agreed that the cul-de-sac would be named Hill Grove, in memory of James Cullen Hill and the through road would be named Brooks Road in memory of Walter Brooks.[2]

It was reported in the local newspaper on September 29th 1944 that the council was seeking approval for a loan of £5600 for roads and sewers on the proposed new Barrow Hill Estate, and that a further £1,300 would be met by the council.

The land chosen for the new estate belonged to the Chatsworth Estate and formed part of the Waring Brothers tenancy of Breck Farm. It had last been planted with rye in 1944. Since then, in anticipation of the land being purchased for housing, the farmers had not been able to make use of it. They were given 28 days’ notice to terminate the tenancy of the land and Mr W. T. Parker of Chesterfield was engaged to assess the amount of compensation payable to the Waring Brothers for “disturbance.” Following this assessment, it was resolved that, “in accordance with the valuation of Mr W. T. Parker of the 15th November 1944, the sum of £37.19.3 (including valuer’s fees £4.4.0) be paid to Messrs Waring Bros. in settlement of their claim for tenantright, compensation for disturbance &c. in respect of 8, 482 acres of land at Barrow Hill.”[3]

By March 1945, a new sewer had been laid to serve the new housing development and, in June 1945, the council decided that gas wash boilers and gas cookers should be supplied in “the living rooms of the 3-bedroom type of houses on the new Barrow Hill estate.”

The local newspaper[4] reported that the Ministry of Health had not raised any “objection to the U.D.C. accepting the tender of Messrs. J. A. Belfitt and Co. Ltd for the erection of 82 permanent houses at Barrow Hill for the sum of £89,100. Objection has, however, been raised to a price quoted for eight bungalows on the same estate.”  Plans for the bungalows were later changed and they were replaced by a further eight houses costing £1050 each.

The construction of the houses began on October 29th 1945[5]. Despite now being 70 years old, the post-war housing development is still referred to locally as the “new houses.”

Avondale Close

The Church Hall was demolished and the land to the rear of St Andrew’s Church was sold for a small housing development. The new Close was named “Avonside” after a Staveley Works locomotive.


©Ann Lucas

[1] Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald 29th May 1942

[2] Staveley UDC Minutes 1944-45

[3] ibid

[4] Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald 26th October 1945

[5] Staveley UDC Minutes 1944-45