Retail park would ruin us: Mansfield mayor speaks out

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Plans for a large retail park at South Normanton is being opposed by businesses in the Mansfield and Ashfield area.

More than 100 businesses are supporting a campaign against the planning application for the Park 38 development.

They say the proposed development on land at Wincobank Farm, close to the McCarthur Glen Designer Outlet would pose an economic threat to nearby towns.

An independent economic report has said the development could see a retail impact of at least 15 per cent on Sutton town Centre and at least eight per cent on Mansfield town Centre and likely have a significantly adverse impact on businesses’ ability to continue trading.

on businesses’ ability to continue trading.

Mansfield mayor Kate Allsop said: “Mansfield District Council is particularly concerned about the adverse effect this development will have on the vitality and vibrancy of Mansfield town centre. We are encouraging investment in Mansfield over the coming years with improvements to some of the oldest and most iconic buildings around the Market Place and a new hotel along with our continued efforts to support Mansfield Market. Large out of town developments such as this make our town centres vulnerable and threaten their sustainability. On this basis we have objected to the planning application”.

Councillor Don Davis, deputy leader of Ashfield District Council said; “he Council are working hard to improve the town centres of Ashfield, but they remain vulnerable and need time to recover and benefit from the positive steps that are being made by both the Council and retailers.

“Park 38 will completely undermine this recovery and will have a significant impact on Sutton, Kirkby and Hucknall.”

Tim Cornford, of Ellandi, investment managers of Idlewells Shopping Centre added: “Should this planning application go ahead, there will be a detrimental effect on existing and planned investments for the nearby towns. We anticipate vacancy rates increasing due to loss of trade and this will impact on the town centres vitality and viability.”

The ‘Keep Our Town In Focus’ campaign has received support from independent and national retailers and business throughout the town centres who have submitted objection letters to the planning application with Bolsover District Council.

Marcus Jolly, director of the applicant Limes Developments, said the proposal represents an estimated £100 million investment in South Normanton and once fully developed, Park 38 is expected to create over 1,000 jobs.

He added: “We consulted locally on our plans in the summer and received a really positive response from local people. “Our objective is to create a modern and attractive shopping environment which will bring leading retailers. “Bolsover District Council will make a decision in March.