Mansfield town centre car park ‘surplus to requirements’ to progress Covid memorial

Mansfield Council is set to declare a town centre car park ‘surplus to requirements’ as it presses forward with Covid memorial garden plans.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 6:00 am

Coun Stuart Richardson, council portfolio holder for regeneration and growth, is recommended to make the declaration next week, calling time on the 19-space car park behind the Old Town Hall, on Queen Street.

It comes after the authority revealed its plan for the memorial garden on the small piece of land, which will transform the site into a ‘pocket park’ to honour everybody impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

A delegated decision by Coun Richardson will move the plans to their next phase, with the council revealing earlier this month its hope to begin work before Christmas.

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The Old Town Hall car park is set to be converted into a pocket park.

Documents due to be approved next week state: “This garden will be a tribute to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our communities, for those who have lost loved ones, those still suffering, and the NHS staff who have delivered high-quality care in the most difficult of circumstances.

“It also pays tribute to all key workers who have kept the country operating throughout the pandemic.

“It will contain a memorial centrepiece and provide an area for peace, reflection, hope and pleasure to everyone who chooses to use it.”

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A sketch of the planned Queen Street pocket park.

Income

The documents add the car park made an average income of £19,998 over three years, but there are a further 1,883 parking spaces across the town centre.

The new memorial garden will feature grass terraces cascading towards the Old Town Hall, with seats, trees and plants on-site.

Shrubs are also planned for the top terrace adjoining Queen Street, with the trees and plants planned to improve air quality and ‘enhance feelings of wellbeing and positive mental health’.

It is one of two ‘pocket parks’ planned in the town centre, with the council also planning a slide for youngsters on existing green space at the corner of Walkden Street and Quaker Way.

The council launched its consultation on a wider, 15-year town centre masterplan on Monday, which will run through until December.

The plans include a public service hub in the old Beales building, a potential indoor market in the former BHS store, repurposing Market Place for a multi-use offering, redeveloping the White Hart Street area, and bringing new life to space under the historic viaduct.

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