Parts of Lincoln’s High Street are “incoherently designed” and “of poor quality”, according to documents looking to guide city centre development in the future.
The Lincoln High Street Character Appraisal also hits out at post-war developments which have “failed to respect the historic character and appearance of the area” and “the number of oversized and poorly-designed modern shop fronts and signage.”
“Traffic and highways, modern infill development, and modern shop fronts are threatening the historic character of the area,” it says.
It particularly highlights the street both sides of Wigford Way.
“The public realm between the railway and Guildhall is of a lesser quality than the rest of High Street, having a variety of surfacing, patch repairs and an overall lack of design,” it adds.
The report, due before City of Lincoln Council leaders on Monday, is highly critical of the “dramatic impact” the construction of Wigford Way in 1972 has had to the area, as well as that of traffic in general.
It says traffic routes have created barriers which “undermine the pedestrian experience” of the area adding that the “high-way dominated space” is “at odds with the historic character.”
“There is substantial opportunity to re-imagine the road and its hinterland, in order to more clearly reflect the historic nature of this area, by reducing traffic flow, repairing the urban grain, creating greater enclosure, and enhancing the pedestrian experience with active frontages.”
Once approved, the report, one of 11 such documents being prepared, will guide developers, councillors and officers when submitting or reviewing planning applications.
A report before councillors says: “The document will assist with identifying challenges and opportunities within this area of the High Street and inform what proposals and development should come forward in the interests of the proper planning of the area.”
The document, which compares the “poor shopfront and signage” of several High Street stores with those which “make a positive contribution” by blending in with their historical detail, makes several suggestions.
It calls for shop front guidance to be issued as well as a grant scheme to help property owners
“Rationalisation of the surfacing and improvement of street furniture would dramatically improve this area, particularly the space around Speakers Corner.”
It also calls for a Conservation management plan to be drawn up, as well as further publicity over the historic significance of the area to be sent to residents, businesses, the university and council departments such as housing and highways.
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