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Set to rethink bus station site

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Plans to site Newark’s new bus station at The Wharf could be scrapped after widespread demands for a rethink.

Newark and Sherwood District Council announced late on Wednesday that the county council had agreed to look again at the possibility of putting some sort of bus station on the Potterdyke site.

It follows more than a year of talks about the issue after the district council discussed the matter in secret and then said The Wharf had been selected.

At the time the district council said if the site was not accepted for a bus station then the Asda development planned for the Potterdyke would be under serious threat.

The Wharf was the third choice behind Potterdyke and the Castle Station but there was opposition to the others from Nottinghamshire County Council highways officers.

The leader of the district council, Mr Tony Roberts, said they had listened to the public and the formal objections to using The Wharf for a bus station.

“While we believe that all other possible options have been explored thoroughly we are concerned that every possible effort is made to ensure it is the most appropriate option,” Mr Roberts said.

As a result, he said, he had been in talks with the county council and its leader, Mr David Kirkham, who agreed that his officers should look again at whether buses could use the Potterdyke site, even though officers had opposed this because they did not want cars, buses and delivery vehicles sharing accesses.

The matter will be discussed by the district council’s cabinet on Thursday.

Mr Roberts said: “Even if some compromise is required in the size and type of bus facility the district council believes it would be better to explore that now before the planning application for The Wharf is formally considered by the planning committee.”

One of Newark’s county councillors, Mr Keith Girling, has been one of the leading opponents of The Wharf.

He said it would create an unsightly gateway into Newark and he was also concerned about the possibility of the area flooding.

He said this week he had been lobbied by hundreds of people opposed to having a bus station at The Wharf.

Mr Girling was pleased the county council had agreed to a rethink, but said he was disappointed it had taken this long and that the views of local county councillors had not been heeded.

Newark Town Council is also opposed to using The Wharf.

At a meeting last month its planning committee agreed unanimously to oppose the idea.

The committee chairman, Mr Peter Foster, said the news that the county council was to look again at the situation was marvellous.

He said there had been a lot of opposition from the public when the town council had held meetings to discuss the matter, and was pleased that their views had been listened to.

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