Don’t rip apart our town

EDITOR – East Lindsey District Council planning and Tesco are about to drop Mablethorpe right into the mire from a great height.

They have been told repeatedly that a Tesco store bang in the middle of our town is an absolute no-no, but ELDC planning, in their infinite naivety (to be polite), are hell bent on getting rid of the old sports centre at any cost (and it is going to cost us an arm and a leg if it goes ahead). In my naivety, I thought ELDC was there to do their best for our community, both economically and planning-wise.

Let’s put it in black and white. The extra problems we’ll get and what we are about to lose if this project goes ahead.

The car parking space Tesco propose is actually small by their standards for a store of that size. This means the rest of the town will be short of parking space for general shoppers to visit the other shops and this will damage the incomes of small shop owners in the town and we will start to see even more closing down.

Now we come to the next council blunder. Why on earth does the town need four supermarkets within 100 metres of each other? Namely the Co-op, Lidl, Heron and the proposed Tesco.

All the extra traffic Tesco will bring in the holiday season will be intolerable, not to mention the congestion that will be caused at Seacroft Road, High Street and Stanley Avenue.

The primary school will be put in greater danger than it is already is, with traffic coming in from the west and congestion on the High Street, and traffic trying to get up Church Lane.

The proposed Tesco project is like getting a quart into a pint pot – and right where it hurts Mablethorpe most.

The Tesco store which, I might add, will only be a food store, will only have one way in and out, and even if they do make another way out it will be at the expense of parking space.

The new proposed sports centre will fall short of the facilities we have at the minute. They don’t include a floodlit outdoor court so once again Mablethorpe will be underdone by bad decision-making at East Lindsey. It looks to me and a lot of others that East Lindsey won’t do anything for this town except take away things that we already have.

The old sports centre could be converted into a smaller version of the Hildred Centre in Skegness and leave everything else as it is. There would be no problems with the market, car park, children’s play area and, last but not least, the war memorial would be in its rightful place in the town centre.

The whole planning committee knows full well that to grant planning permission to Tesco would badly damage any hopes of bringing full-time work (be it only a small amount is better than nothing). More part-time jobs, better facilities for the tourists, it would also bring the town towards the 21st century.

The big fear I have is that if Tesco gets planning permission then the town will lose a £50 million investment. What price getting rid of the old sports centre?

I love this town and don’t want to see its centre ripped apart and ruined by East Lindsey council, NIMBYs and Tesco.

JOHN MITCHELL

Mablethorpe