New £6.5m plan for hotel and restaurants at Mansfield Leisure Park

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AN ambitious £6.5m scheme to build a hotel and three restaurants on a Mansfield retail park could create more than 130 new jobs for the town.

Planning permission is being sought for the huge development on Mansfield Leisure Park, supported by a 25-page planning document put together by a specialist consultancy firm.

If granted, it could mean the restaurants and a 60-bed ‘mid market’ hotel built on under-used car parking between the Odeon Cinema and the Walker Bingo unit. Plans show the hotel could be built above the three ground-floor units.

Mansfield mayor Tony Egginton says the idea has been mooted for months and was delighted that a decision could be made in the coming weeks.

He said: “We need to bring investment into Mansfield to create economic stimulus and this is a great example of that. We have been working on this for several months, we’ve had to be patient over the interest it has generated but it’s great news.

“The park has had massive investment over the years and this is a significant development so it’s all extremely positive.”

This was echoed by Mansfield District counicllor, Kate Allsop, portfolio holder for economic regeneration, who said: “It’s absolutely fantastic news, we have got some good hotels in Mansfield but nowhere can cope with the amount of beds needed.

“It will be a great investment and will be the finishing touch to the retail park.”

Split into two phases, it is expected full planning permission will be sought to build three 325-sqm units to house the restaurants, which has already attracted interest from major chain companies including Nandos, Chiquitos, Frankie and Benny’s, Bella Italia, Real China and Prezzo, and create around 100 part-time and full-time jobs.

The report, put together by Yorkshire-based consultancy firm, Indigo, suggests that interest for the hotel has not been as strong, and say it would only be delivered if the restaurants are built.

Mr Egginton expects interest to pick up once a deal has been reached for the restaurants, and suggests it would of similar quality to a Premier Inn, as well as creating an additional 30 jobs.

The report reads: “Mansfield is a town where regeneration is a pressing need. The proposal comprises economic development. These jobs will be delivered within a short timescale and available to local people. They will involve a broad range of opportunities including provision of a range of jobs of a broad calibre for the hotel, which will be available to local people ranging in opportunity from management, maintenance, housekeeping and receptionist. In terms of the restaurants, managerial, kitchen staff and waiting positions. There will also be indirect employment created from the construction of the scheme and the subsequent maintenance.”

The report suggests there is limited hotel provisions in the town and apart from McDonald’s, also a lack of restaurants.

Another eight sites were considered for the proposals, which included the former Mansfield Brewery site, the former Lucas Garage site and Stockwell Gate North and South, but all were discounted for various reasons, including size and availability.

In terms of impact on the town, the planning consultants suggest it would not draw trade away from the centre but offer facilities for those already using Mansfield Leisure Park.

It is thought the application will go before the planning committee after the New Year.