Saturday, 18 October 2014

Seafront Development

This week has seen new and ambitious plans for the Golden Mile being published including an exciting mix of commercial and residential space. The plans were not a great surprise as I had been involved in preliminary discussions with the site owners as they were thinking up their plans. This important area for our leisure offer to both residents and visitors is in dire need of investment and improvement and I wish these plans success and hope that this does not turn into another false dawn for the site. My concerns about the plans have not changed. The height of the blocks, particularly adjacent to the Kursaal, are of concern. We have seen the negative effects of over high development elsewhere along the seafront. I also wonder whether the site will attract the necessary purchasers of high value flats in an area which comes with both the advantages and disadvantages of a prime Golden Mile location and sits close to an area of the Town Centre which continues to offer significant financial and social challenges - perhaps not the best selling tag. Still this is not the time for negativity. Perhaps significant investment of this kind will prove to be a touch paper for long term improvement to some of our more challenging town centre areas.

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