Development - or lack of...

IT'S tempting, when contemplating the latest developments at Birnbeck Pier and the Tropicana, to seek a previous Mercury opinion article and do some quick cutting and pasting.

IT'S tempting, when contemplating the latest developments at Birnbeck Pier and the Tropicana, to seek a previous Mercury opinion article and do some quick cutting and pasting.

That's because, when we say 'development', we really mean a lack of it - just as we have for more than a decade.

The people behind the projects now say they are unable to offer a firm timescale for action at either site, and speak in vague terms of the wider implications of the credit crunch and an uncertain market.

Reading between the lines, it's easy to draw the conclusion that neither scheme is likely to ever go ahead.


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Instead of two exciting multi-million regeneration projects, Weston suffers the grim spectre of these key sites lying empty and derelict.

Not everyone was greatly enamoured with the finer details of the proposals, but the one thing we all feared was inaction.

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At a time when more and more people are holidaying on home soil, and town attractions are ushering people through their doors in record numbers, Weston needs to show visitors it's an ambitious town with exciting new arrivals on the way.

Instead, we're sending out the message that after ten years we remain unable to get our house in order.

It's a situation which is not only embarrassing but harmful to our reputation as a credible 21st century holiday destination.

This latest lament echoes years of dashed hopes and false ambition, and the frustration we feel on seeing the goalposts moved once again is nothing new.

It's time for Henry Boot and Urban Splash to stop blithely churning out platitudes about being committed to Weston, and back their words with firm action.

Weston needs to believe that these projects are more than a pipedream, and if these two firms can't convince people the ideas are real, it's time for them to step aside and let someone else do it.

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