Mansfield Town’s ‘illegal’ gates row rumbles on

Members of the public gather at the civic centre to attend a meeting about spider park
Members of the public gather at the civic centre to attend a meeting about spider park

COUNCIL bosses have agreed to try to have gates, which were put up around Forest Road Park marking out a new Mansfield Town FC training ground, opened to the public .

The compromise came at the end of a heated Civic Centre meeting on Saturday, in which nearby residents vented their anger after mayor Tony Egginton said he had come to an unofficial agreement with Stags’ owner John Radford allowing the club to temporarily use the area known as Spider Park.

Members of the public are being denied access to the quarry site by locked gates placed at the Sandhurst Avenue entrance through the old Mansfield Standard Sand site.

Mr Egginton said he met with Mr Radford on 7th June and was given permission by Mansfield and Pleasley Cricket Club chairman Chris Revill to transfer the licence for the pitch to Mansfield Town.

Speaking during the meeting, Mr Egginton said: “The intention is they (Mansfield Town ) will only be there until their training facility is available. They are working on it as we speak.”

He added: “The reason I made this decision is that I am passionate about football and it is important for the town that we have a team in the Football League.”

Ajman Ali, corporate director at Mansfield District Council, said the council could not open the gates but when Mr Egginton was asked why they could not be opened if they had been erected without a legally binding contract, he told residents he would pursue the question during a meeting on Monday.

Mick Spencer, treasurer of Mansfield and Pleasley Cricket Club, said: “We have over 60 junior members, but without the quarry there is nowhere else for them to play now that you have terminated our licence. What assurances are there that we can ever go back on there?”

Mr Egginton said that he would raise all of the residents’ concerns during a meeting between himself, district council officers and Mansfield Town’s legal department due to take place as Chad went to press.