EDITOR – Re the Eastgate car park proposals. The company has terminated its lease with ELDC and is under no obligation to do anything with the Eastgate site. If the site is closed to vehicles then this could be GLB’s way of making a point: that when Louth continues to function it can be claimed the loss of parking spaces causes no hardship...and planning permission for a retail outlet can be pursued, as a separate issue.
Note also that GLB’s consultants are quoted as saying that there would be NO public vehicular access (staff parking only); so, they envisage all customers being on foot – having parked elsewhere.
I make the following points:
l Apart from sacrificing the sheer convenience of a short-term park only a minute’s walk from the town’s commercial centre, we would have to find another 40-plus spaces somewhere in Louth.
The average car requires about five to six metres to park – so 42 cars would require around 200-250 metres of kerbside; try pacing that out on the already-congested streets (without yellow lines!)
The consultants referred to surveys carried out by themselves and by ELDC; it would be illuminating to see these (I’ve never seen any such work published – has anyone else?)
They also claim a sufficiency of spaces – so why is Morrison’s management concerned about the misuse of their own nearby parking facility to the extent of restricting previously-free access?
l The Government itself has finally seen the obvious and is now trying to persuade communities everywhere to encourage a revival of town-centre trade by providing more parking for shoppers.
GLB’s proposals run completely counter to this policy and may even be counter-productive by discouraging out-of-town custom.
Louth attracts shoppers and visitors from all over the county...and they all have to park somewhere, preferably close to the town centre.
l Considering the proposed ‘retail outlet’: Louth is already renowned for the variety of its shops (even if we do have a few empty properties) and its commercial health.
The usual process of development is for estate agents to sell land, developers to build structures – then hope some business wants to occupy buildings...in the midst of a recession?
In any case, just what retail enterprise does Louth lack that we need so badly?
l As a lifelong citizen of Louth, I resent being told what my town ‘needs’ and ‘should have’ by wealthy, faceless developers from the other side of the country. Like certain large supermarkets, they don’t convince me they have any interest in my community apart from their profit.
I hope the citizenry will back the local authority and that the ELDC will have the resolve to say this: just who runs Louth – us... or a bunch of businessmen in another county?
Finally, I suggest a solution: let ELDC grant planning permission for the Eastgate site...as a car park and, if that encourages the building of a multi-level structure then so much the better!