Work to begin to demolish former Chinese restaurant in Mansfield

Work is expected to begin next week to demolish a former pub and restaurant to make way for a new Co-Op store in Pleasley.

Permission was granted in July to demolish the former China Fong restaurant and Ye Old Plough Inn on Chesterfield Road North, which dates back to the 1870s.

An artists impression of the new Co-Op

An artists impression of the new Co-Op

The plans have been submitted by Bains Property Developers and The Planning Hub on behalf of Co-op, which has a number of stores across north Nottinghamshire.

The former China Fong restaurant closed in summer 2018, with the site being vacant for a number of months.

Permission was granted with conditions such as keeping construction noise and site deliveries between 7.30am-6pm Monday-Friday, and between 8am until 1pm on Saturdays.

A&R Construction will first remove asbestos cladding from the building, before demolishing the building's existing steel frame.

The proposal is for the demolition of the existing restaurant and outbuildings, and replacement with a new single storey co-op retail store, as well as 26 car parking spaces.

There are 10 letters of objection to the plans, which state: "The proposal would kill local shop businesses and local jobs. There is no need for another shop.

"To build next to the traffic lights would be unsafe and cause traffic chaos. Exiting out of the car park turning right is a problem and could cause accidents. Advance sighting of cars from Mansfield is short. The amount of traffic would increase over the current use. Care will be needed when service deliveries drop off produce.

"There would be noise disruption to the nearby residents with deliveries close to their homes.

"There is a question of whether Sunday trading restrictions should be in place as the unit is 280sqm.

"It would inappropriate to knock the building down. It is historic, from the 19th Century, and part of Pleasley's history and is of traditional timber and stone. It has internal stained glass work. It could be converted instead of demolished or used by a new restaurateur. The new building does not add character to the area. If replaced the proposed building should be of higher quality, like the new one in Tibshelf."

There are also eight letters of support, which state: "Pleasley has long been in need of a local supermarket. This will prove invaluable to the community particularly cashpoint and postal facilities. It will allow people to shop locally who don't have access to a car and have to use public transport to get to grocery facilities which is a nightmare. It will be within walking distance of my house. There is only one local shop with limited stock

"It will bring employment to the local area.

"The existing building has character but the proposed new purposed designed shop makes sense. It has the potential to become an important local community facility."

Coun Sonya Ward, councillor for Bull Farm and Pleasley noted during a committee meeting that there is a desire for more shopping facilities which would benefit local people, especially those without access to a car, but also understands that the existing building is of historic character and its loss, is a concern as part of the cultural and built heritage.

Coun Ward stated that the proposed replacement building is not of architectural merit, and asked if the building could be converted.

The new local plan includes an SUE at Pleasley which includes a possible up to 1600sqm of new retail.

That could prejudice this proposal and the new building stand empty.

She also noted that the Highway Authority in its initial response states that the parking is inadequate and short of the 31 spaces required and that vehicles tend to pop in.

She noted drivers may be encouraged to park on the A617. The new Southwell Road co-op has parking issues. Pedestrian and vehicular safety is important.