Six new small shops could be built on derelict land more than a kilometre from the centre of a West Lindsey town.
The Lincolnshire-based MF Strawson Ltd hopes to create two blocks of shops on the 1,500 square metre site at the Lea Road junction with Carr Lane in Gainsborough.
There would be four shops in one of the blocks and two larger stores in the other.
But former Gainsborough Town Mayor, Councillor Harry Clarke, who lives in Willoughby Chase off Lea Road, questioned whether the retail units were likely to be viable.
"If there are shops in the town centre which are closing down, why build more on a site on the outskirts?" he said.
"There are more than enough empty buildings in the centre of Gainsborough without the need for new shops."
The site is in a designated flood zone of the River Trent, but is protected by a £15m worth of flood defences completed by the Environment Agency two years ago. It has already been cleared for building.
The development would also incorporate landscaping, new pedestrian and vehicle access – plus parking for 68 cars.
People are being invited to give their views on the plans, which are available from West Lindsey District Council's planning department.
An architect's statement to support the planning application says: "The site was last used for general industrial land which ended some years ago and it has now been cleared.
"The main access is from Carr Lane and, in addition to the 68 car parking spaces, five cycle stand spaces are to be provided.
"Pedestrian access to the site from Lea Road will lead across the frontage of the four smaller units, which will feature an area of public space with seating and planting.
"The pedestrian route then runs through the car park along a clearly defined and safe route to the other two larger units."
Each of the blocks is designed with a canopy running across the front – to provide a covered walkway for shop customers."
Planning officer Simon Sharp said: "The plans constitute a major development and as such are subject to public consultation."