Mansfield MP Sir Alan Meale has warned that he is considering referring council chiefs to a Government watchdog over claims they have mishandled the troubled Queen’s Place building.
Sir Alan told Chad that units now filled at the ‘iconic’ Queen’s Street development have been taken by existing Mansfield businesses - leaving other business premises empty in the town.
He said he has now submitted a number of Freedom of Information requests to Mansfield District Council, and said he would refer the matter to the Audit Commission and other governmental departments if he did not get some answers.
He said: “I am very worried about this whole affair which has resulted in millions of pounds of public money being used to basically fund the opening of nothing more than a sandwich shop in the high street.
“The way things have been handled so far is a disaster and the monies used could instead have been spent on other parts of the town to better effect.
“The tenants now found for the properties haven’t been encouraged to come to Mansfield from outside the area, but instead from nearby units which now themselves lay empty.”
But Mansfield District Council have again hit back over the Queen’s Place build - which was opened last year as a new focal point for Mansfield, sitting between the new transport interchange and the market square.
Coun Kate Allsop, portfolio holder for economic regeneration at the authority, said: “The investment in Queen’s Place was made to regenerate the site, this part of town and the town centre.
“The external funding was granted specifically for the project and the council’s contribution was approved by full council.
“Dalestorth Bakery is a new business to the town centre and is in addition to their café and bakery premises on Maun Close, off Hermitage Lane, Mansfield. All the new tenants applied for accommodation at Queen’s Place either to increase their space or expand, or because the premises were more favourable to them in some way.”