Plans to transform area of Gainsborough into new shops, cafe and flats given go ahead

Permission has been given to transform an area of Gainsborough which has been a target for anti social behaviour and arson.

Andy Hurley plans to refurbish existing shop units, change the former Xtra public house to retail and cafe, reconfigure living accommodation to form six apartments and build four new homes in Lord Street.

It is hoped the redevelopment will have a positive impact by significantly improving the appearance of the buildings located on one of the main pedestrian entrances into Gainsborough.

The property has been empty for three years, but it has failed as a public house numerous times over the last ten years, hence the brewery disposing of it and over the last three years it has been a target for anti-social behaviour, arson and theft.

The former Xtra pub in Lord Street is among the buildings being redeveloped

Mr Hurley said: “It’s taken 12 months to get to this stage, mainly delayed due to Covid-19 which had a major knock effect in regards to getting plans drawn up, on site meeting, expert reports etc, but we are delighted now it is approved and work will commence shortly.

"Initially we are converting the old public house into four commercial units and two apartments, later we will convert the old shops into two further commercial units and a further four apartments and finally the four new houses will be built.

"Part of the project is linked to the councils/National Lottery Heritage Fund project which will see some of the old properties in the towns conservation area transformed.

"And part of the project is linked to the councils LOTS (Living Over The Shops) scheme where grants are available to reinstate unused space on the upper floors to create living accommodation.

"In relation to the commercial units, it is still our intention to offer subsidised rents for new start business and or young business people, giving them a chance of success and also enhancing this part of Lord Street.”

Comments from residents include: “A forgotten scruffy part of town is going to be improved at long last. Hopefully this will be the start of improving the rest of the town centre.”

Another said: “Anybody that wants to do something to better the huge and unsafe building that greets people to the town has my vote.”

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