Traders call for Lincoln Cornhill Quarter and bus station plans to be scrapped

Traders staged a protest against plans to redevelop the Cornhill Quarter of Lincoln and to create a new bus station, stating the central market should not be touched.

Lincolnshire Co-op announced its plans to revamp the Cornhill Quarter in February this year, submitting a planning application for stage one of the development in May.

A consultation over the £70 million regeneration project was largely positive, with four out of five residents and businesses supporting the proposals.

However, some traders have been less than impressed with the proposals, launching a petition which has attracted over 2,100 signatures and holding a protest in the city centre on September 26.

Chris Padley, who started the petition, said: “People want to rent the units but can’t for many reasons, they’re in too poor condition, they can’t afford it and now they are under plans to close and be revamped.”

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Jonathan Padgett, organiser of the protest which attracted four other objectors, said: “We want them to scrap the plans, lower the rents and not close the market.”

Another protester, Julie Harrison, added: “The Co-op seemed to have forgotten why they were founded and who they were founded for.”

Modern extensions to the Corn Exchange will be demolished, allowing views of the new facades from the High Street.

Modern extensions to the Corn Exchange will be demolished, allowing views of the new facades from the High Street.

In a response, Lincolnshire Co-op said that they had not been contacted by the organisers of the march.

Lincolnshire Co-op spokesperson Emma Snedden said: “Our vision for the Cornhill Quarter is that it will be a successful shopping destination which includes the great local traders which make our city unique.

“A sustainable market, featuring good quality, local stalls offering a mixture of services is key to that vision.

“The Cornhill Quarter project is separate to the plans for a new transport hub, which are led by the city council. We’re confident that both schemes will complement each other well, and ensure Lincoln city centre remains modern and vibrant.”

The plans are currently being assessed by the City of Lincoln Council. Lincolnshire Co-op and agents Banks Long & Co are awaiting a date for a planning meeting where the application will be determined.

The site plan for the new Lincoln Transport Hub.

The site plan for the new Lincoln Transport Hub.

The protesters were also objecting to City of Lincoln Council’s proposed transport hub for the city, which would see the demolition of the existing bus station to build a larger facility next to the train station, replacement of the pedestrian and platform footbridges over the railway with a dual function footbridge, and the construction of a 1,000 space multi-storey car park.

Kate Ellis, Assistant Director for Planning and Regeneration at City of Lincoln Council, said: “We are aware of a protest that has been organised. We understand that this is primarily about the closure of the Cornhill Market, although comments have been reported that also suggest that is against the redevelopment proposals for the bus station.

“The overwhelming response we have had over the past decade in developing our plans for regenerating this part of the city, and more recently in the specific consultations that have taken place on the detail of the Transport Hub plans, has been very supportive.

“We are happy to receive any further comments that people may have on the proposed scheme.”

City of Lincoln Council’s Executive will discuss the next stages in development of the transport hub at a meeting on September 28.