Louth looks set to be dealt a hammer-blow to its chances for long term prosperity, thanks to the short sighted Executive Board of ELDC.
I refer, of course, to their recent decision to recommend acceptance of an unnamed supermarket’s offer to purchase the cattle market site.
As a lifelong resident and ardent supporter of Louth, and having travelled this country extensively throughout the period of supermarket proliferation, I have just three questions.
- I would ask those in favour of a supermarket on the site, just what do they believe it would offer that will not be available from the town’s existing (and soon to be built) selection of such outlets?
- I would ask the ELDC’s spokesman, who attempted to pacify Louth residents with the statement that “…any future development on the site would be subject to a formal planning application and is entirely separate from a decision to sell the site”, does he think we were all born yesterday?
- I would ask anyone who doubts that a supermarket in such a location can do enormous damage to a town centre, please visit Spilsby – it is just one of hundreds of small towns who’s independent shops have been dealt a mortal blow by one or other of the ‘big four’ ripping the heart out of its community.
To a large degree, Louth lives or dies by its appeal to visitors and its ability to persuade them to spend their money here. They come to enjoy its individual, independent shops, its markets, its heritage and the beauty of its surroundings. The damage to the first two, which I believe will result if residents do not stand up and demand an alternative to this supermarket, could well be irreparable, changing the character of Louth for the worse, for ever.