New guidelines on shop frontages which lay out a ‘standard the council can aspire to’ when it comes to planning the town and surrounding boroughs has been approved by the authority’s leaders.
The Boston Shop Front Guide was discussed at the town council’s cabinet meeting on Wednesday, when councillors approved a recommendation it be adopted for development control.
The guide forms part of plans to return shop fronts across the town centre conservation area to more ‘traditional and pleasing appearances’ – an aim which has seen the council use grant money to repair shops such as businesses at 45 Market Place, and both 9 and 3a Church Street.
Council officer Michelle Sacks told councillors: “This is a positive decision, it sets a standard we can aspire to and a framework we can engage in with shop owners and others to increase the attractiveness of our town centres.”
The document, which may later become part of the South East Lincolnshire Local Plan includes guides on good practice for altering and renewing shops, things to consider with traditional shop fronts and designs, the materials used, the colours, signage and use of security shutters.
For example, the council says it will not allow external shutters on listed buildings, but would consider systems such as internal rolling grilles, or toughened security glass.
The guide says bright neon lights would ‘not sit comfortably in an area of heritage interest’ but lighting built into the cornice.
Council leader Michael Cooper said: “This sets a benchmark for where we are planning to get with nice looking shops and improving the look of the whole of the town.”
Deputy leader Coun Michael Brookes said this was an important document.
“I’m pleased also to see that this applies to the town and all village areas because in the villages we’ve got conservation areas there and the same philosophy should apply there.”
The guide has previously been considered by the council’s planning committee and cabinet members voted unanimously to adopt it.