DETAILED plans for the £2 million revamp of Boston’s Market Place have been unveiled.
The design aims to make the town more attractive to visitors and shoppers, with a host of large-scale proposals.
These include new pedestrianised areas, the return of the landmark Five Lamps feature, re-surfacing work and - perhaps most controversially - the number of car parking spaces being cut from 110 to 40.
The proposals have been based on feedback from public consultation and an extensive Conservation Area appraisal.
Economic development manager at Boston Borough Council Ian Martin said he hoped the design would be positively by townspeople.
“There are a few controversial aspects but apart from that it answers all the responses that came up in the consultation. All we have done is respond to the will of the people,” he said.
These controversial aspects, Mr Martin anticipated, would centre on the loss of car parking spaces and the decision to go ahead with a spend at a time of cuts to the public purse (the cost to the borough is £450,000).
In terms of car parking, he argued that the proposed reduction represented less than 1.5 per cent of the town’s capacity.
Coun Richard Dungworth, portfolio holder for regeneration at Boston Borough Council, defended the spend.
“It is important that we continue to invest for the future of Boston, to attract business and visitors. This initiative has the added bonus of unlocking substantial sums of money which otherwise Boston would not have access to,” he said.
Lincolnshire County Council and Europe have contributed to the £2 million investment pot, which includes £250,000 from the wound-up Boston Area Regeneration Company. On top of this, a further £500,000 is expected from English Heritage.
Work is planned to begin at the start of June and is expected to take between four and six months to complete.
Boston Borough Council will be holding public consultation sessions in the Market Place on market days from today (Wednesday) until next Saturday. There will also be an opportunity to view the design at the Community Rooms, in Strait Bargate.
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