A NEW retail park in Gainsborough has been given the green light by West Lindsey District Council - creating 50 jobs and six new commercial units.
The Carr Lane Retail Park would be located off the Lea Road roundabout, near the rear of B and Q and Wintern Court, behind the bridge.
However, not everyone is happy about the development - with some believing that more investment is needed in the town centre.
Designed by Brian E Wright Architects from Washingborough in Lincoln, the development would boast six units with a combined 1,524 square metres of retail floor space with 68 car parking spaces.
West Lindsey unanimously agreed to grant permission for the planning application last week.
“This site has been vacant since 2009 and the planning approval granted by the Council will allow the land to be developed as a top quality retail park serving the needs of the local and wider communities around the town as well as bringing much needed regeneration and over 50 jobs to this part of Gainsborough,” said Tim Bradford, a Director of Lincoln based chartered surveyors, Banks Long & Co who are acting as agents for the developer.
A section 106 agreement has yet to be drafted, but it is said that it will involve all jobs relating to the development being advertised locally to ensure that the local community is given the best chance of securing jobs within the new shops to be built on this site.
However, not everyone was happy with the development, with Dransfield Properties (who own and run the Marshall’s Yard retail park) voiced their opposition to the council.
“We are disappointed that an out of town development has been approved in Gainsborough,” said Amanda Holmes from Dransfield Properties Ltd, speaking to The Standard.
“Our company specialises in town centre developments and we have always supported the council’s Town Centre First policy and continue to work with other stakeholders in the town to promote Gainsborough as a shopping and visitor destination.”
She continued: “We believe it is important for the long term viability of our towns for retail activity to be kept in town. If you look at those market towns which have fared well throughout the recession they are generally those which have robustly defended their town centres.”
Amanda added: “There are a number of empty shops in Gainsborough town centre and we would like to see new investment directed into these areas which helps to strengthen the whole town centre, rather than a stand alone development.”
Horsleys have been trading for over a century on Church Street in Gainsborough town centre.
“If all of the units in the town centre were full, then I’d understand,” said manager John Horsley. “There are great independent traders in the town centre who can satisfy peoples’ needs, so we need more attention and investment here before we start to focus on the perimetre.”
However, Grant Lockett, Head of Strategic Growth at West Lindsey District Council welcomed the news.
“It is expected more than 50 jobs will be created by the development of six retail units on land at Carr Lane,” he said. “This is in addition to the work created during its construction.”
“We are delighted to be able to support this development, which was needed to regenerate this prominent site in the town centre.”
He continued: “It was granted subject to a legal agreement requiring jobs created by the development to be advertised locally first to benefit people in the town.
Grant added: “In addition the council has also secured landscaping and open space as part of the development.”
No fixed date for building work has yet been given, but developers MF Strawson Ltd have said that the units could be available from Autumn 2013 and it is estimated that retail park would take approximately nine months to build.
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