I have read the letters about the redevelopment of the town centre published in these pages with a growing sense of concern and now incredulity.
The people who have made the decisions about the process are simply public servants and as such should have ensured that the process was fully transparent. In this they have obviously failed. It is simply not for them to know and the people they serve to be kept in the dark.
Furthermore as public servants they have a duty to protect the public from and the town from outside operators who have only their own interests at heart. From what we learn about the proposals to date they have utterly failed here too.
In the first place the total lack of consideration given by the chosen developer to the plans envisaged in the SPD is a criminal waste of the large amounts of our taxpayer monies that were spent over a number of years on those proposals. The SPD envisaged development that enhanced assets of the town such as the riverside environment on the west side of Bakewell Road and was in keeping with the scale of the Town’s infrastructure and functions.
The scale of this proposal is ludicrous. Where are these people, oming from?
Indeed they should ask where the customers for a 38,000 square feet superstore are coming from. Sainsbury’s expansion plan has already been accepted and we have the existing Co-Op with Peacocks in the centre.
There simply is not the population base within the Matlock catchment area support such a new store without sucking dry much of the existing retail and business make up of the Town.
These people would do well to visit Holyhead in Anglesey to see town centre that has had its lifeblood drained by a large scale development competing for custom, leaving empty, boarded up premises and just a few people drifting in and out of betting shops. Contrast that with Southwold in Suffolk where the local population refused to accept a large store development and have retained a charming, thriving high street, with individual businesses, character and interest. So, proposers of the current plans, what is your vision for Matlock – a huge supermarket and a town centre denuded of its shops and character other than being choked by cars trying to get in and out of its car park?
Make no mistake the company running such a store will not care two figs about such dereliction, they will only be concerned about the money coming into their coffers.
While you’re at it, we know that Tesco is keen to get into such a development so why not change our name from Matlock Town to Tesco Town or some other company name.
Alternatively remember you are public servants who have a duty to protect the town from potential harm, involve the townsfolk and think again.