Holbeach needs its own retail park to serve a growing population and keep shoppers from spending their money elsewhere, it has been claimed.
The idea was raised by Ken Smith at September’s meeting of Holbeach Parish Council which is waiting for news on a nine-month experiment in which the town’s twice-weekly market was moved from High Street to Boston Road South car park.
Mr Smith, who has lived in Holbeach for more than 30 years, described the town’s high street as “not big enough” to attract “some of the major concerns” which may be willing to occupy a newly-built retail development.
During the meeting, Mr Smith said: “Looking at the South East Lincolnshire Local Plan, there are parcels of land for housing around the area.
“The way Holbeach is going, it needs more facilities so would the parish council consider supporting a retail park where you can get some of the major concerns and businesses onto one site?
“It could possible be at Northons Lane, next to the A17, as the high street isn’t big enough.
“We need to get a retail development put in on the outskirts of Holbeach and there’s a genuine for one, with some big name shops.”
A document which mapped plans for the future of Holbeach over the next 20 years, published in 2012, included a desire to revitalise the town centre by “providing a vibrant mix of retail shops and restaurants (so that it would be) the main focal point for residents and visitors”.
But Mr Smith said: “Looking at the housing developments planned for Holbeach, people are likely to go to Peterborough, King’s Lynn, Boston, Spalding or Lincoln to do their shopping.
“So instead of having trade going out of Holbeach, you could bring it into the catchment area with a shopping outlet in proximity to the A17.
“There’s a genuine need for one with the big names and as Holbeach doesn’t have a natural market place, like Spalding and Long Sutton to some extent, it’s what I think the town needs.”
Holbeach county councillor Nick Worth said: “The idea of a big retail outlet for Holbeach is a good one and something I’ve explored for quite a few years.
“But I’m not sure about Northons Lane because you’ll only have one way in and one way out and it’ll create a huge amount of traffic. If you’re going to build a shopping centre in Holbeach, which doesn’t have a town centre as such, the Chequers Yard area would be better.”