Plans to demolish the Lincoln High Street House of Fraser store and build a 4-star hotel and smaller shops have been revealed.
Planning advisers Quod revealed designs for the 150-room hotel with bar/restaurant space and four retail stores on behalf of landlord Patrizia at an event in Lincoln Library on Thursday, November 7.
There are no official proposals to shut the department store at the time of writing, but developers say its future closure is likely.
In a series of display boards, they said the “continued operation of the House of Fraser store is highly uncertain, and there is no prospective market demand for reoccupation of the building as a department store.”
A spokesman at the event said responses so far had been “very positive.”
“It’s very likely to happen, it’s just dependent on the planning process at the moment.
“The store is open but it’s on a rolling three month lease. So who knows?”
The prospective plans include leisure and restaurant facilities, meeting rooms, and a new courtyard accessed from St Peter’s Passage – which is hoped to be reopened.
Pavements around the building will be widened.
The hotel would be accessed via Mint Street and the retail units via High Street.
Displays at the meeting said: “The development will make an important contribution to the vitality of the city centre, enhancing the public realm.”
Residents at the event seemed pleased on the whole, with some saying the new build would improve the city centre offering.
Mike Kent noted the building would look very similar to the current department store.
“Lincoln’s a great city, people are coming to see it we’ve got to have somewhere to put them,” he said.
However, he had concerns over a lack of parking. With none being provided directly within the site of the hotel, visitors will have to use local car parks or walk from public transport sites. A taxi drop-off point will however also be provided.
Residents praised the provision of facilities in the downhill area.
Andrea Cooper said: “What we’ve got to offer with the Christmas Market and the historic part of Lincoln, you always struggle to get in. I’ve got family that come over and they always struggle to get into Lincoln.”
Peter and Rosemary, both from Lincoln, called on the developer to try to retain evidence of a Roman wall below the building.
Peter said: “It would be nice if they could retain the wall for people to enjoy or incorporate it into the building in some way.
“With modern technology and building construction they may be able to do something with that.”
Rosemary also praised the shops’ potential saying: “Let’s have a few more independents, not solely in Bailgate but downhill, a better offering in that corner.”
A full planning application is hoped to be submitted to the City of Lincoln Council by the end of the year.
A number of House of Fraser staff were left with an uncertain future when Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley bought the chain last year.
At the time he said he was trying to save 80% of stores and Lincoln was one of them.
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