Developers in plan for firstout-of-town shopping area

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Developers are hoping to turn industrial units which have been empty for nearly a year into Bourne’s first out-of-town shopping area.

A planning application was submitted by Rutland Estates, based in Stamford, to South Kesteven District Council on Friday last week for permission to change the use of three units in Cherry Holt Square into shops.

The application is for a change of use for three units, totalling about 9,000 sq ft which have been empty for nearly a year.

The application submitted by Mike Sibthorp Planning on behalf of Rutland Estates said the company was looking for retailers “to complement rather than conflict conventional town centre retailing uses”.

These might be retailers with a low turnover of goods or which require large sales display areas and may not be able to pay the high rates typically charged in town centres.

The planning statement entered with the application says the shops would be for bulky goods, such as carpets, furniture, or electrical goods; garden ware, bulk purchases or country and camping shops.

The shops would not be able to sell food.

The applicants state the reason for the application is the units are proving impossible to rent for business purposes, even with discounts.

The application states that comparison shopping for bulky items in Bourne is not catered for at all and there is a “leakage” of shoppers going to better-served centres such as Stamford, Sleaford, Grantham and Spalding to do shopping of this nature.

The units currently have permission to use between 35 per cent and 50 per cent of the floor space for retail.