So, Councillor Cooper has offered his support for the plans to replace the Crosfield Hall in a new out of town location. (Advertiser, November 10).

Whilst acknowledging that “The Crosfield Hall is undoubtedly a popular venue and its location in the middle of a car park is convenient and makes it easy to access”, he states “At present there is a considerable area in the town centre that is either inefficiently used or simply under-utilised and it is this area which is defined as “South of the Town Centre”. The SoTC area includes the TVBC surface car park and the bus station and the Crosfield surface car park which surrounds the Crosfield Hall”. 

Observation suggests however that on most days one would find it difficult to find a parking space at any of the stated venues so “under- utilised” fails to register for me.

He also counters the view that the new hall would be an “edge of town” location by arguing that once the 1,100 new dwellings (with 2,500 new residents) at Whitenap are complete it would be a more central venue. Well joy, the development supported will transform our charming and beautiful town into a sprawling characterless planning blot.

The additional shopping area with flats above will divide the retail area and carry a high risk that a good number of the new units will be left vacant or occupied by less than beneficial businesses creating a soulless and depressed area. Visitors to the town will be met with a vista comprising a larger Aldi supermarket and a two or three-deck car park festooned with dubious vegetation. Little thought here for the conservation area I fear. And, just to add to the sense of this proposal, if you were planning a visit to the new southside, I wish you good luck, for the existing traffic log jams will be swelled, maybe to the point of becoming static, by the previously mentioned 2,500 Whitenap residents (and possibly those to live in the 250 additional houses to be built at the Hilliers Brentry Nursery site if planning is granted), all wishing to drive into town to shop at the upscaled Aldi.

Has anyone thought of building, if we must, a new state of the art, sympathetically designed Community Crosfield Hall next to the existing, which will remain in use until completion of the new. Temporary parking can be provided during construction in the area preferred by our Councillor and serviced, if necessary, by a park and ride. When the new hall is complete the existing hall can be demolished and the area surfaced to provide parking for the new hall. And the new Aldi, or whichever supermarket chain wishes to benefit from our ever-increasing population can be re-sited on the edge of town, or rather, central position post-Whitenap.

Please let us think again and not spoil our town.

Keith Lawrenson,
The Hundred,

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