Plans to regenerate a prominent part of Mansfield town centre are expected to move forward within weeks when consultants report back on the potential for its development.
Mansfield District Council hopes that its former bus station site on Stockwell Gate North can attract new retailers and help to drive up footfall in the town centre.
A company has been appointed to explore the retailers, leisure operators or other commercial users which could realistically be attracted to the site and its report, due soon, will be used by the council as a blueprint for development.
The area, seen as a gateway to the town for visitors coming in along Sutton Road, is being used as a car park as a temporary measure.
Councillor Kate Allsop, the council’s portfolio holder for economic regeneration, said the site was one of a number identified for redevelopment as part of the authority’s vision of how the town centre could look in 2019 in its ten-year plan ‘Creating a City Centre for Mansfield’, published in 2009.
She said: “We have appointed a global real estate company which will develop a report on possible retailers, leisure operators or other commercial users that we could realistically secure on the site, having undertaken some soft market testing.
“The report is expected in the coming weeks and, once received, the council will consider the findings and recommendations and seek to agree a strategy to pursue the long term regeneration of the site.
“Ideally this site will be redeveloped for a mixed use scheme that will drive additional footfall in the town centre, helping to support existing businesses and encourage new ones. Ideally it will also address the lack of larger retail units within the town centre.”
Coun Allsop added that the time it will take the council to achieve its aims will depend on a number of factors including market conditions, securing necessary funding, and procurement of any potential partners, which will be subject to European Union rules.
Consultants are being paid £47,920 for their report but the sum includes work to advise on options for the Four Seasons Shopping Centre, seen with Stockwell Gate North as top priorities for the council, as well as dealing with legal matters on behalf of the council.
Land at Stockwell Gate South has private owners and has mixed use planning permission. This includes retail, business, leisure and a hotel.