Gainsborough: Concern about future of town’s bus station as sites for housing zones are revealed

One of the new number 98 buses leaves Gainsborough bus station
One of the new number 98 buses leaves Gainsborough bus station

Concerns have been raised about the future of Gainsborough’s bus station which could be within one of the possible locations for the town’s housing zones.

The town has been selected as one of 20 housing zones, which is an area of land where the government provides funding to unlock the scheme such as infrastructure, site acquisition and leaseholder buyouts.

The developer and local authority commit to provide a certain level of affordable and private housing and must meet these targets on deadline as a condition of the funding.

Penny Sharp, commercial director for the council, applied to become a housing zone to get some momentum behind plans to increase housing and regeneration opportunities in Gainsborough.

She said: “It is great news that Gainsborough has been chosen out of just 20 areas outside of London to be designated as a housing zone.”

“The intention is to accelerate the delivery of infrastructure to help unlock a number of brownfield sites within the town.”

“This will help to provide a wider mix of housing and better choice for buyers as well as helping to attract new people into the area.”

“We will be engaging with the development industry and work with stakeholders and statutory bodies to identify and remove obstacles to development.”

At an Annual Town Meeting held earlier this month the possible sites for the housing zones were revealed.

Member of Gainsborough Town Council, coun Barry Coward, was the meeting.

He said: “The brownfield zones they wish to develop for housing and retail were identified and among them is the Gainsborough Bus Station and the adjoining land at Heaton Street, owned by West Lindsey District Council.”

“Other land reserved for retail development includes Baltic Mill, Whittons Gardens and the former Guildhall site which are all owned by West Lindsey District Council.”

Barry said that at the meeting it was announced that public consultation on Housing Zones will take place in the autumn.

Penny added: “At present, we don’t have any firm plans for the area in question.”

“If future regeneration plans identified development at the site of the bus station, then consideration towards an alternative would be required.”

Barry is also a member of the Gainsborough Rail and Bus group and the group are campaigning for the bus station to be modernised.

He said: “We will press for the construction of a modern bus station, like the one Notts County Council built at Retford in 2007 which works very well.”