Plans for a new betting shop in the Market Place have been given the go-ahead – despite planners’ misgivings over the development.
Ladbrokes was given the green light to change the former Angus Young Meat shop next to Holland and Barratt into a bookmakers at a meeting of Boston Borough Council’s planning board last week.
The change, which goes against council policy, will put an end to 20 months of vacancy at the unit, but it means that yet another in the centre of town will be used for something other than a shop – something councillors were uneasy about.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Coun Derek Richmond said: “I don’t like to see propoerties changed from retail to gaming, but I feel it’s better to see shops occupied in this area rather than see them sitting empty.”
Coun Paul Gleeson agreed, adding: “It makes me feel slightly uncomfortable, but there is obviously no demand for a retail unit there.”
Haris Kasuji, agent for the application, said he thought this new betting shop would improve the town centre and would provide ‘long-term viability for the site’.
Councillors unanimously approved the application, which officers at the authority said could improve footfall and significantly improve the appearance of the area.
Six new jobs will be created when the shop opens. The building will also have a new frontage, which Mr Kasuji said would be more in keeping with the character of the area.
Meanwhile, two other betting shops have been taken over by a national chain.
Lincs Bet, on Artillery Row, and Lincs Racing, in the Market Place, will be taken over by national chain Coral.
It will take the number of Coral stores in the town centre to five, with existing stores on West Street, Wide Bargate and another in the Market Place.
A spokesman for the company said staff in both the new stores will be kept on when the move takes place on Monday.