New cladding plans for Mansfield car park delayed

An artists impression of the car park
An artists impression of the car park

Plans to clad a Mansfield car park in a decorative metal facade have been shelved until further information is sought.

Amendments have been made to previously approved plans to replace the deteriorating concrete panels on the exterior of the multi-storey car park at Walkden Street with a metal covering.

An artists impression of the car park

An artists impression of the car park

The revised plans would see the existing pebble-dashed concrete cladding panels replaced by "geometric-shaped perforated aluminium panels, protruding aluminium panels with a purple coloured surround, and aluminium mesh panels, " at a total cost of around £2.4 million.

The plans for the new facade have been drawn up by Newark-based consultants Built Environment Design Partnership (BE Design) on behalf of the contractor, Derby-based construction company GF Tomlinson, who have been appointed by the council to carry out the improvement work.

Under previous plans, the cladding was mostly confined to the Stockwell Gate and old Bus Station sides of the car park.

However under the new proposals, the cladding would also be upgraded on the rear side, which overlooks the Old Meeting House Chapel.

Walkden street car park as it stands

Walkden street car park as it stands

David Brown, the lead for the trustees of the Grade Two listed Unitarian Chapel spoke out against the plans at a meeting of Mansfield District Councils' Planning Applications committee.

Mr Brown said: "In all ventures, health and safety is paramount, and if there is an issue with the structure this has to be rectified.

"However, the council and those involved in the design of this car park should reflect the historic nature of our side of the car park.

"It should be sympathetic to, and reflect the heritage of the listed structures that surround it."

Scaffolding was erected around the car park in October 2018 after Mansfield District Council became concerned about the safety of external panels, and closed Stockwell Gate to traffic.

Built in 1964, the Walkden Street car park features a total of 433 parking spaces located on six decks split across three levels.

Councillors at the meeting on September 23 deferred making a decision on the plans until further information was sought.

Councillor Bill Drewett said: "Why are the conditions of the varying style and colour being changed now, so long after permission was grated in December?

"The scaffolding has been up since October, and I'm led to believe that emergency work should have started earlier this year.

"The scaffolding is still there, and conditions are being varied at this late stage."

Councillor Anderson branded the new design a "monstrosity", and said the design was not in keeping with the area.

"Whoever planned and designed it clearly doesn't live, shop, or spend any time here."

Councillor Whetton proposed that the decision was deferred, and that he committee would ask designers for further information.

Councillor Drewwtt added that the decision should be deferred until councillors received clarity on what the design would look like.