Plans to turn the former Long Sutton Indoor Bowls Club into a retail warehouse could effectively see the town centre “shift”, according to a town businessman.
During July’s meeting of Long Sutton Parish Council, estate agent David Wilson warned of possible consequences for the town if plans by Lincolnshire Co-operative (Co-op) to convert the old bowls club in The Chase went ahead.
We could see the emphasis of Long Sutton town centre shift to a self-contained spot comprising the bowls club and the new retail warehouseDavid Wilson, Geoffrey Collings and Co. Estate Agents, Long Sutton
Mr Wilson, of Geoffrey Collings and Co estate agents based in High Street, asked parish councillors to give “careful consideration” to the fear that the warehouse plans could cause problems for existing shops in the town.
Speaking in an open forum at the meeting last Tuesday, Mr Wilson said: “If change of use planning consent is granted for the bowls club and if the owner is going to use it for the sale of cars or windows, it wouldn’t be a concern.
“But if change of use consent couldn’t be made conditional, preventing other retailers doing the same thing, then we could see them also selling cars, carpets and other goods.
“As far as I’m aware, the term ‘retail warehouse’ doesn’t distinguish between ‘retail’ and ‘trade’ premises.
“Therefore, if I am correct, this large warehouse could be utilised for the sale of goods found elsewhere in the town centre and to the detriment of existing shops in Market Place, High Street, etc.
“So even if the Co-op has in mind the sale of ‘trade’ items like cars, windows, conservatories, bathrooms and kitchens, and if this was not successful or the Co-op changed its mind, it could then switch to the sale of goods already on offer in the town centre.
“We could then see the emphasis of Long Sutton town centre shift to a self-contained spot comprising the bowls club and the new retail warehouse.
“So I would ask the parish council to give this (planning application) some careful consideration.”
Lincolnshire Co-op’s plans were revealed by our sister newspaper, the Spalding Guardian, two weeks ago, when the business confirmed that it was in talks with an unnamed tenant to take on the warehouse.
Emma Snedden, of Lincolnshire Co-op, said: “We are working towards bringing this central site in the town back into use and we are in the last stages of negotiations with a tenant keen to bring its services to Long Sutton.
“As part of the process, the Society has applied for planning permission to change the use of the building to retail and we hope to announce more details soon.”
• Plans to build up to eight new homes on land in Station Road, Long Sutton, have been backed by parish councillors.
Agricultural firm T M and S Ward hopes to replace several existing buildings on its Glendale site.
Coun John Clarey said: “There’s already a business there, with vehicles coming in and out all of the time.
“I think it’s a perfect opportunity to get a new development there and to get rid of a problem in Long Sutton.”