February 16, 2024 6.30 pm

Lincoln welcomes demolition of ‘eyesore’ City Square Centre

Although there are mixed feelings about the future development

By Local Democracy Reporter

Shoppers in Lincoln have cheered the demolition plans for the “eyesore” former City Square Centre, though not everyone is enthusiastic about what could replace it.

This week Lincolnshire Co-Op has submitted plans to tear down the building in the city’s Cornhill Quarter, clearing the path for a new 105-bed hotel. This would be completed some time this autumn.

City of Lincoln Council granted outline planning permission for the project in 2023, with the company now in discussions with a prospective hotel operator for a detailed plan.

A indicative CGI of how the hotel could look

It would also include the demolition of the footbridge oversailing Melville Street. However, this would require additional land law consent.

A separate bid for a retirement living complex by McCarthy Stone was retracted in May 2023, prompting Lincolnshire Co-Op to consider various residential uses for the plot, such as sale, rental, and student housing.

Strolling through the centre, Hazel, 75, concurred that the building has deteriorated, particularly as it has been empty since 2019. She remarked: “I can’t really relate to the architecture.

“It was a good location for lots of the shops inside, but I don’t particularly like the building. It needs a bit of love and care.”

While uncertain about her preferences for the latter part of the development, she championed a project that could “generate growth” for the city centre.

Michael Curtis, 55, also described the building as an “eyesore” and proposed selling bricks from the demolition. Highlighting the anticipated opening of the Cornhill Market, though an official opening date is yet to be confirmed, he suggested that a car park could be beneficial.

Gavin was adamant that the city does not need another hotel, stating: “Lincoln is getting too many hotels,” and suggested turning the space into a daycare centre for children. “With it being close to the town centre, I think they should do a daycare for kids,” he recommended.

However, Eve Moorland, 69, held a different view, highlighting the site’s strategic location near bus and train stations, which, in her opinion, makes a hotel a sensible addition.

She added: “We don’t need any more shops because we have too many empty ones.”

On social media, several people celebrated the announcement of the demolition, yet many expressed scepticism about repurposing the site for additional student accommodation.

Jonathan Wiltshire commented: “I walked past it today and it looks such a mess. It has served its purpose, but will look better flattened.”

Jorge Silva offered his perspective on development priorities, sharing: “Developing student accomodation is okay, but the city should be more than just a student city.”

Echoing Gavin’s sentiment, Sian-Elizabeth Rees voiced opposition to another hotel: “We do not need another hotel, or any more bloody coffee shops or posh unaffordable shops. We need one and two bed flats for younger people without kids, that are affordable so they can get on the property ladder.”