Parking rumpus could force children’s play centre to close

UNDER THREAT -- Chris Bramall with wife Steph and their two sons outside Ollie's Fun Shack.
UNDER THREAT -- Chris Bramall with wife Steph and their two sons outside Ollie's Fun Shack.

Controversial, new parking restrictions in New Ollerton could force a thriving play centre for children out of business, it has been warned.

Notts County Council has given the go-ahead for double yellow lines, meaning no waiting at any time, on large swathes of Sherwood Energy Village.

This follows complaints about dangerous congestion caused by cars parked on Darwin Drive, Edison Rise and Latimer Way.

However, Chris Bramall, who runs Ollie’s Fun Shack with wife Steph, has branded the decision “devastating” because it could leave the families who visit the play centre with nowhere to park.

“This will strangle an area that is supposed to be a business park which generates money and jobs,” said 38-year-old Chris.

“Since we opened in 2012, things have gone really well. From four members of staff initially, we now employ 14. Everything was looking rosy and positive for the future and then this landed on our doorstep. It could kill us.

”Without customers, we won’t be here. The service we provide for parents and their kids will disappear.

Chris accepts there is too much on-street parking, but insists it is caused by the county council’s own employees who work at the authority’s nearby highways department. He has a small car park for seven vehicles, but he fears this and other free spaces in the area will now be occupied all day because of the new restrictions.

“The local MP, Mark Spencer, is trying to fight my corner, and Ollerton Town Council is against the restrictions too. We set up a petition that got 365 written signatures and 185 online, while 22 of 24 responses the council received in a public consultation opposed the plans. Yet still they were approved.”

Notts County Council says the double-yellow lines at Sherwood Energy Village are necessary to improve safety for drivers and pedestrians. But it promises to monitor their impact with a view to protecting business like Ollie’s Fun Shack.

A statement issued by the council’s highways improvement manager Helen North reads:

“There have been ongoing issues with parking for some time at the Sherwood Energy Village, with people double parking and problems with access for heavy goods vehicles.

“There are also pedestrian routes through the site to places like the local skate park, so it is vital that visibility is improved to ensure safe crossing places for people on foot.

“For these reasons, double-yellow lines are being put in at junctions, at accesses to businesses and near pedestrian refuges.

“The scheme went out to consultation earlier this year and after feedback from the public, the initial scheme was altered to reduce the extent of the parking restrictions. The scheme was subsequently approved.

“We recognise the need for some free on-street parking and we have tried to accommodate that wherever possible, but our focus has had to be on safety for everyone using the site, both in vehicles and on foot.

“We hope that there won’t be any detrimental effect on any businesses and we will be monitoring the situation, as we always do with such schemes.”