Plans for a 24 hour gambling centre at the former Clarks shop have been rejected

Plans for a historic town centre shop unit to be turned into a 24 hour gambling centre have been rejected.

The vacant former Clarks and Masons shoe shop in Strait Bargate, Boston.
The vacant former Clarks and Masons shoe shop in Strait Bargate, Boston.

At a meeting of Boston Borough Council’s planning committee yesterday (Tuesday), the planning application by Merkur Slots UK Ltd was turned down.

Merkur Slots already runs an adult gaming centre (AGC) on West Street.

As reported by LincolnshireWorld in May, some residents said they were ‘horrified’ by the proposals to convert the prominent and ‘historic’ shop unit into a 24-hour gambling centre.

However others in the town said such a centre would be preferable to an empty shop unit.

The former Clarks shop, located at 14-16 Strait Bargate, dates back to 1932. It has been vacant since the footwear retailer left the town in 2016.

Campaign group ‘SOS Boston’ set up to oppose plans for gambling centres in the town said on Facebook yesterday: “WE STOPPED THE SLOTS! Thankyou to everyone who supported this campaign. “We fully expect Merkur Slots to appeal this decision but for now we have stopped the slots!”

Witham Ward councillor Neill Hastie also stated: “Today was one of those days where I can deliver good news to local residents. After calling in the planning application for turning the old Clarks show shop into gaming establishment, I’m pleased to announce that the committee voted 8 against and 2 for.”

In its application, Merkur Slots Ltd said: “The nature of high streets has changed,” adding "Merkur AGCs attract people into centres and generate good levels of footfall.”

More on this story as we get it.