Will councillors make a stand for Stortford? New!
Letter to the Herts and Essex Observer of 3 June 2010
This letter was published in the Herts and Essex Observer and passionately expresses the views of the majority of Bishop's Stortford's residents.
An outline of the Causeway Design Statement may be seen here.
To the Herts and Essex Observer
||3 June 2010|
Following the Observer story "All change for Bishop's Stortford" (June 3), I think it's appropriate to draw the public's attention to draft design guidelines drawn up by East Herts District Council for the development of the Causeway site.
If allowed to go ahead, the Causeway offices and the entire public and Waitrose car parks will be turned into one giant development site.
Within this develeopment theere will be:
- further retail space
- more flats
- a hotel(!)
- another health club, and
- active encouragement of use of the space into the evening (read: more restaurant and bars).
Furthermore, the design statement suggests four storeys of development with the caveat allowing further height where appropriate.
I wonder whether the council officers who have drawn up this design statement have visited Bishop's Stortford recently and seen the huge amount of vacant retail space in the town, particularly around the most recent Jackson Square development and Bridge Street.
I wonder if they are aware of the overwhelming dislike of the height and bulk of the Jackson Square development from the people of Bishop's Stortford.
And more flats? Well, it may have escaped East Herts' notice but Stansted is not to have a second runway; the need for flats for a transient working population is declining and the economy has shrunk to the extent that development of many new flats has stopped as demand has dried up.
There is much dismay and also anger in the town about developments that have been allowed to go ahead in previous years, and yet the council is so hopelessly out of touch with the public mood that it is, yet again, prepared to go along with a developer's wishes, and give them what they want from the previously council-owned site.
Can our townspeople and our local councillors stand up to East Herts District Council, or is this, once again, a done deal?