A Nottinghamshire council will declare a town centre car park “surplus to requirements” as it presses forward with Covid memorial garden plans.
Mansfield District Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration and growth is recommended to make the declaration on October 25, calling time on the 19-space car park behind the Old Town Hall, in 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 the portfolio holder next week will move the plans to their next phase, with the council revealing earlier this month its hope to begin work before Christmas.
Documents due to be approved next week state: “This memorial garden will be a tribute to the impact of the Covid-19 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.”
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 to accommodate shoppers and residents.
The new memorial garden will feature grass terraces cascading towards the 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 an existing green space at the corner of Walkden Street and Quaker Way.
Executive Mayor Andy Abrahams said: “The garden will be somewhere for people to relax and reflect as they go about their business in the town centre.
“It will also provide an attractive pedestrian connection between the bus station and the Market Place.
“What we want to achieve with this urban greening project is a greater sense of calm and enjoyment for visitors to encourage them to linger.
“Along with the plans featured in the Town Centre masterplan, Mansfield is going to look and feel more attractive in the years ahead, which we hope will increase the number of visitors and encourage economic renewal and investment.”
The council launched its consultation on the wider, 15-year town centre masterplan on Monday (October 18), 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, repurposing Market Place for a multi-use offering, redeveloping the White Hart Street area, and bringing new life to space under the historic viaduct.
More information on the consultation is on the council’s website.