TRADERS have joined forces in a bid to stop Spalding being turned into a “soulless jungle of concrete sheds”.
Shops, cafes and restaurants in the town’s Crescent, Vine Street and Francis Street are urging customers to make their voices heard over plans to bring more big name chains to Spalding with the proposed redevelopment of Holland Market.
A number of them are now displaying petitions in their premises against the proposal, which they fear will draw more shoppers away from the town centre and see the destruction of the “green and pleasant land” of the Sir Halley Stewart Field.
Emma Peake, of Daisies florists in The Crescent, said: “This development would just result in another block of concrete sheds which would erode Spalding’s ‘market town’ heritage even further.
“It would become just another soulless clone town.”
Nick Richer, chairman of The Crescent Traders’ Association, which is behind the petition, said: “We would like to see plans for long-term rejuvenation of the town centre and support for local independent businesses.
“We can’t see the need for more retail units when there are already unoccupied shops in the town centre.”
He said traders fear unless residents have their say now, it will be too late and it will be a “done deal” before plans are even officially submitted.
Karl Sergison, owner of Sergi’s deli in Francis Street, is hopeful the development will bring money to the town, but said: “We need to make sure the ‘powers that be’ know we are still here and need considering and when they look at filling empty shops they think about what they fill them with.
“There needs to be a balance.”
David Broadhurst, of D&M Sports in Vine Street, said: “This development goes against the grain when there are so many shops empty and we are all feeling the pinch.”