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Proposed retail boost for Bourne




A derelict and abandoned building in Bourne could be transformed into a smart new retail development following a recent planning application to South Kesteven District Council.

The application, which was submitted on behalf of Alpha Realty, proposes the redevelopment of a former garage in Abbey Road into a convenience store and retail unit along with associated parking.

The site is currently home to a two-storey building which has stood empty for at least three years.

One side of the building was formerly occupied by tyre company ATS, while the other, on the western side, consists of an office and storage space.

Two residential flats are located on the first floor, but these are unoccupied.

An extant planning permission, which expired on June 6, 2019, is currently in place for the conversion of part of the site for two takeaways.

The new application has the support of the Bourne Town Council, which said the development would help uplift the area.

Highways and planning chairman on the town council, David Mapp, said: "As far as we are concerned (the new development) will help to improve an area of high street in need of regeneration.

"The application is beneficial and complements the current retail mix."

If given the go ahead, the new convenience store will have a floor area of 367 square metres while the separate retail unit will cover 81 square metres.

It is envisaged that the store will open daily from 7am to 11pm.

While the application does not mention a tenant, a pre-application response from SKDC refers to a Co-op.

The proposal further states that 23 parking spaces will be made available with the new development.

In addition to interior changes, the exterior of the building will undergo a significant revamp which will include brick columns being built and new windows and powder coated aluminium shop fronts being installed to give it a fresh, modern look.

An ATM will also be installed.

These changes will not only improve the overall appearance of the area, but the development will also create job opportunities resulting in a boost to the local economy.

In the pre-application response, SKDC was generally supportive of the development.

"The proposed change of use to form a Co-op and a separate A1 unit adjacent is considered to be an acceptable use for this site," the council said.

Jack Ward, acquisition and estates manager for Alpha Realty, said they were still in the process of finalising plans and were unable to give a figure on how much the work was expected to cost.

"But it is a significant amount," he said. "It will require quite a bit of work to modernise the building and get it up to standard."

He said the first floor flats would not immediately be used, but the company would consider letting them at a later stage.

"If we are given the go ahead to proceed with the development we hope that work will start in late summer, early autumn this year," he said.

"For now nothing has been finalised regarding a tenant for the convenience store."

A decision is expected next month.



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