Mansfield businesses hopeful for new town plan

NMAC12-1154-1''Mansfield White Hart Street
NMAC12-1154-1''Mansfield White Hart Street

Business representatives have reacted positively to news that a plan to develop a rundown part of Mansfield Town Centre has been re-submitted.

Hopes of converting the area into a business and residential hub back in 2008 were stalled by the economic downturn but now a new plan has been put forward.

The outline plan would see 145 residential units and 3,500 sqm of retail, business and leisure facilities on White Hart Street, Church Street and Dame Flogan Street.

Developer Stirling Mortimer’s plans states its focus is to bring historic buildings back into use, the removal of decaying buildings and the creation of safe and attractive pedestrian routes.

Sue Nelson, owner of The Glazey Place, White Hart Street, said: “Anything that helps to regenerate this area is to be welcomed as long as it does not take too long to do and does not cause traffic disruption for the businesses already here.”

Runu Ahad, of the Mangrove Indian Bistro and Grill, Dame Flogan Street, said: “It is perfect for an area of the town centre that has been left to go to ruin for a number of years.

“More people in this area will be good for business. If it takes on a genre of small independents and restaurants, it will give it a unique, boutique feel.”

Ros Key, owner of Casey’s cafe bar in White Hart Street, said: “This area definitely needs development and an influx of people would be of real benefit to my business.”

The planning statement by Stirling Mortimer read: “A high quality design is proposed that reflects the height and design of neighbouring buildings, providing strong frontages and attractive elevations.”

The development would include a provision of 43 carparking spaces but, with Mansfield bus and railway stations just up the road, it aims to keep in line with policies encouraging the use of public transport, rather than driving.

A spokesman from planning consultants Ken Parke also confirmed that no new access roads would be needed, with just minor changes to street layout in terms of pedestrian crossings and access to buildings.

Sarah Nelson, manager at Mansfield BID, said: “Plans that are aimed at redeveloping this part of the town centre are absolutely good news for Mansfield and for businesses in the area.”

“It is just a shame that similar plans over the years have not come to fruition.”