District Council wants your views on proposed plans for land adjacent to Newark Library.

Posted on: Thursday, July 14, 2022

Today, the District Council has unveiled its proposed plans for the land adjacent to the Library Gardens, London Road in Newark.

This site has been the centre of much attention over the last year but now it is back in District Council ownership, plans to move forward and make this into a community space in the heart of Newark have been announced.

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, explains: “We are keen to move forward into a new era in relation to this site where children, families, community groups, in fact all residents, can enjoy this space.  We have been meeting with the Friends of the Library Garden regularly and have taken their thoughts on board as part of producing proposed plans for the site.  It is hoped that the carefully planned features will make it a hub for biodiversity and education right in the heart of the town centre.  We met with the Friends group earlier this week to get their views on our proposed plans and now we are really keen to get feedback from other local residents and businesses, to ensure that we deliver something that meets local needs moving forward.”

The proposed plans include a number of different features:

  • A hard standing area to the back of the space which would be accessible for a range of local disability gardening groups. It would feature raised beds with an array of beautiful planting.
  • Built with safety in mind, a gentle pebbled rain garden water feature would run through the garden with sleeper type bridges allowing access to the entire space. This rain garden would not hold static water but where there has been rainfall, it would hold a little which would flow through low lying pebbles and would attract an array of insects and wildlife. 
  • A winding path would lead visitors through the garden to a cleverly designed container-like-pavilion. This would have a green roof, be clad with wood and have a wildlife wall to ensure it fits in with the landscape of the park.  The building would house equipment for local gardening groups and for a District Council park ranger. Outside the pavilion there would be an area of decking so that the park ranger and District Council’s environmental team can run talks, workshops and activities with local community groups and school children.
  • Planting around the space would include wildflowers and a bulb meadow which would be planted in such a way that there is always a splash of colour in the park. There would be a further purple haze bed which would include bluebells, tulips and lavender to add to the biodiversity of the space.
  • New trees, one Rowan and two Birch trees, would be planted in addition to those currently on the site.
  • Some areas would be left to grow naturally and would only be cut back once a year to create a wild haven for insects and other wildlife.
  • Sympathetic and appropriate seating would be installed around the Sycamore tree with wildflowers planted nearby.

The District Council is currently in conversation with Newark Library with a view to enhance the garden from inside the library building itself with interpretation boards.  It is hoped that, even in the colder months, residents can view the beauty of the new space from the comfort and warmth of the library, while picking out a book or two.

The District Council is aware that creating any park in a town centre location could raise some concerns about anti-social behaviour.  Councillor Lloyd offers reassurance on this: “The area will have gated access and this will be locked in the same way as Newark Castle Gardens, on a daily basis.  Opening hours will vary throughout the year but the gate will be unlocked at dawn, and closed at dusk daily. This will help ensure we protect the beautiful garden from any incidents.”

The District Council has already met with representatives from the Friends of the Library Garden and Newark Civic Trust to seek their views on the new plans.  The District Council advised that during these meetings the plans were well received, but reiterates that feedback from local residents and businesses is still incredibly important before any plans are either adapted or considered for adoption in September this year.

Councillor Lloyd concludes: “I really encourage as many residents as possible to share their views on our plans with us over the next few weeks.  I am looking forward to having another beautiful green space in close proximity to Newark Town Centre, which will increase opportunities for education, wildlife and biodiversity, further delivering on our commitment to becoming Cleaner, Safer and Greener.”

To view the drawings giving an indicative view of the proposal, please click on the links below:

Image 1 - aerial view of the proposed park (PDF File, 1,130kb)

Image 2 - view of the proposed park from Library (PDF File, 200kb)

Image 3 - view of proposed park from Bishop's Place (PDF File, 882kb)

Image 4 - close up of some proposed features (PDF File, 233kb)

You can submit your feedback to us on our proposed plans for the land adjacent to the Library gardens by filling out our online survey.