Our once thriving shopping centre is a ghost town…it used to be packed but it's covered with litter and broken paving | The Sun

RESIDENTS are devastated after their once-thriving shopping centre became a "ghost town" covered with litter and broken paving.

The Carlton Square shopping centre in Gedling, Nottinghamshire was "once amazing", but locals say it has since gone rapidly downhill.

Litter and pigeon waste is strewn all over the shopping centre, and the paving is so cracked that one resident needed a hip replacement after tripping.

Kelly Rowson, 41, who works at a Carlton Square grocery, told NottinghamshireLive: "I was born in Carlton and so I remember when this square used to be absolutely packed.

"There was such an atmosphere here but now it has really gone downhill.

"You get to 1pm every day and this place ends up looking like a ghost town.

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"It is a shame because this area was once amazing."

Resident Lyn Smalls, 60, slammed the broken paving, which she claimed left her with a crippling injury.

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She said: "It was about six years ago and I was coming out of the florist when I went down on the floor.

"I ended up having to have a hip replacement and so obviously this paving is the main thing for me that really needs improving."

P Sandhu, 53, said: "It is very difficult in terms of making improvements because we know that traditional retailers everywhere are struggling.

"You have to think of ways to attract new business to the square but I don't know what they would be.

"Obviously the place could definitely do with a tidy up and that needs some investment because people shopping here won't be going around picking up litter themselves.

"It is just very difficult now, but maybe there could be more access improvements and more could be made of the frontage, because it would be very easy to miss if you were driving past this square."

The local council made an unsuccessful bid for Levelling Up funding in 2021, before spending £450,000 on a car park and new CCTV.

Residents slammed the council's allocation of the money, £100,000 of which came from its own coffers.

Local Jeffrey Rhodes, 76, said: "It is in a bit of a poor state at the moment and I think far too much money actually went on the car park.

"The pigeons round the square are a nightmare for making a mess and you can't do anything about the birds, but if you had people here who were on top of maintaining and cleaning the precinct then it wouldn't be a problem."

Carlton Square itself is privately run, with council leaders fuming at its owners'inaction.

Councillor John Clarke said: "We've spent about £450,000 on the Carlton Square car park but people say 'the council are useless, look at the state of this precinct'.

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"Well it's not our precinct. We're finding it keeps swapping owners, we keep chasing them, they promised recently to put £1million in it because it's a good shopping centre.

"It just needs some upgrades. Some of the money we've got, we are going to put towards improving that, but we're improving other people's property and they're taking out the rents everywhere."

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