Land to be bought for two ‘gateway’ hubs for health and transport in Kirkby

Ashfield Council is negotiating to buy land so it can progress with two major ‘gateway’ projects to improve the appeal of Kirkby.

By Andrew Topping
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 1:54 pm

The two plots in the town would see the separate hubs created focusing on health and transport, as well as potential residential provision near the town centre.

The council cabinet will review papers next week giving the authority power to begin acquisition of the land, with a North Kirkby Gateway to be based around Low Moor Road.

Previous Kirkby masterplan council papers state the new ‘gateway’ will offer ‘definition’ for people as they enter the town and provide an ‘attractive arrival point’.

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The entrance to Kirkby Railway Station.

If the land is acquired, under-utilised and unattractive buildings would be transformed, alongside the redevelopment of the nearby Kirkby Health Centre site.

It could also lead to new housing to ‘contribute to the vitality of the town centre’ and offer a ‘gateway landmark’ for people arriving in the town.

The second land acquisition would be for the West Kirkby Gateway, also described as the Station Gateway, at Kirkby Railway Station.

The authority plans to improve connectivity between the station – served by Robin Hood Line services between Nottingham and Mansfield – and Kirkby town centre.

This includes connecting the station to greener routes and encouraging walking and cycling between the town and station, as well as increasing parking at the railway hub.

The masterplan papers state two existing buildings near the site are of ‘poor quality’ and restrict visibility of the station from the town centre, while vacant land nearby represents an ‘unwelcoming arrival to the town’.

The authority is proposing to redevelop and reconfigure the land, to provide a ‘focus’ for the gateway and to develop vacant land south of Lane End.

Cabinet members will be asked to approve the land purchase.

Coun Matt Relf, council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This represents another significant step forward for the council’s plans to regenerate Ashfield, overhauling decades of neglect to our area.

“These plans have been years in the making and it is going to be an exciting next few years as residents start to see these projects implemented.”

The gateways come as part of the council’s £62 million Towns Fund investment, which will be spent on a raft of projects across Sutton and Kirkby.

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