Work to start on Mansfield car park cladding

Walkden Street car park from Stockwell Gate
Walkden Street car park from Stockwell Gate in Mansfield.

Work is set to start to replace the concrete panel cladding at the Walkden Street car park in Mansfield.

The £1.7m scheme will see panels replaced on two sides of the car park plus the area around the entrance and it will mean a number of car parking spaces will be unavailable for the duration of the work both in the multi storey car park and the old bus station surface car park

Contractors will be on site from tomorrow (24 January) and the project is expected to continue until September.

Part of the surface car park will be fenced off to form a compound for the contractors and there will be a revised car park one way system.

The top level of the multi-storey car park will be closed to allow for the distribution of materials around the site, and various parking bays, particularly around the perimeter of the car park, will be closed intermittently for the duration of the works.

The car park will also be completely closed for periods of time during the work when the contractors replace the cladding around the entrance. The dates for this are not yet known. The council will keep the public in the picture when more is known about the timing for this.

Access to Stockwell Gate via steps from the old bus station car park will not be possible during part of the project. The closure dates will be known closer to the time and the public will be kept informed.

The improvements will form part of the council's wider strategy to improve Mansfield and make it more attractive to encourage more people to visit and shop in the town centre. 

Cllr Stuart Richardson, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Growth, said: "Some of the concrete panels have reached the end of their natural life and were deemed a potential danger in 2018. The council had known this work was coming and had budgeted to deal with the issue. 

"The scaffolding was erected as a safety measure until work could begin on a suitable replacement scheme. We have continued to monitor the situation while liaising with contractors to identify long-term solutions. The process has involved securing planning permission and a formal licence agreement from the car park landlord, as the council does not own it.

"Unfortunately, this has taken longer than we would have liked but we are now looking forward to starting work on the scheme and improving both the safety and look of the car park in what is a key gateway site in the town. 

"Further investigations over the past year have also found that replacing the cladding in parts of the car park is not as urgent as we initially believed so we have also been able to reduce the cost of the scheme by concentrating on the panels in most need of replacement. 

"We apologise for any temporary disruption and inconvenience that this project will cause and we hope users of the car parks can bear with us while this vital work is carried out."

The scheme was originally to replace the concrete panels on all sides of the multi storey car park with lightweight aluminium and steel cladding with a geometric design, at a cost of £2.4m. 

Last year councillors agreed to reduce the scope of the project by replacing the cladding on two sides and around the entrance. The council will continue to monitor the cladding on the other walls and look into how best to replace the panels in the future.

Among the advantages of the new cladding are that it will allow better ventilation and natural light into the car park. It will also deter birds from roosting and provide an anti-climb measure.

For more information about car parking in Mansfield see https://www.mansfield.gov.uk/parking/council-car-parks/1.

Published: January 23rd 2020