Town centre revamp for Bourne moves a step closer

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A COUNCIL is finalising plans for a multi-million pound revamp of Bourne town centre.

South Kesteven District Council is due to start work on creating shops and flats in the autumn.

Council officers are still working on the plans and are due to be finished in the next few weeks.

The council wants to give the town a new lease of life by redeveloping Wherry’s Lane.

But it is offering a short-term lease on the former Wherry’s Mill next to Wherry’s Lane.

The warehouse is likely to become four flats but the council says that those plans have not been finalised.

The council says it has had a previous tenant in the warehouse and that this does not have an impact on the redevelopment plans.

A council spokesman said: “By allowing short-term leases we have been able to obtain additional revenue from the building while at the same time assisting companies who have not needed long-term leases within Bourne.

“To date there has been one tenant.

“This has not impacted on our development plans.”

The council has been considering the town centre redevelopment since 2004.

Council officers held a public consultation on the plans in March last year.

The previous consultation was in 2005 when proposals by three developers were unveiled.

Henry Davidson Developments was chosen the same year but dropped out in 2006 and the council began talks to find a new developer.

In 2007, the district council rejected proposals by council leader Linda Neal to carry out another formal consultation with the public.

In May 2009 the council decided to try to buy as many properties as possible within the redevelopment area so it was in a “more responsible bargaining position” to find a developer.

Since then it has bought Wherry’s Mill, the Masonic Hall, a garage and two houses.

An extension to the Mill, the hall, the garage and houses are due to be replaced with shops and flats.