Major homes and shopping plan approved

An artist's impression of the finished development
An artist's impression of the finished development

A major new shopping and housing development in the heart of Boston was given the go-ahead by councillors.

Members of Boston Borough Council’s planning committee last week approved the scheme by Texas Group PLC for 16 retail units and 15 apartments.

The proposal, which the owners of the nearby Pescod Square Shopping Centre objected to, will see the demolition of 36 Strait Bargate and 2 Wide Bargate, both currently vacant.

It will also involve the refurbishment and extension of 4 Wide Bargate.

The site is currently the home of the NCP car park on Red Lion Street.

Permission was given subject to a legal agreement to deliver affordable housing and a minimum of 12 units to be shops.

But Caroline Bridge, asset manager for Capreon which acts on behalf of the owners of Pescod Square, said in an objection letter that new shopping centre would not secure positive growth for the town.

Instead, she said, it will lead to retail units relocating, “which will negatively impact the established retail pitch which has seen an increase in units becoming and remaining void”.

There have been three other letters of objection, including one from Centenary Methodist Church.

But the council’s development manager Lisa Hughes said the in her report to the committee development would substantially improve the ‘retail offer’ of the town and increase the ‘viability and vitality’ of the town centre, as well as improving its overall appearance.