Even bigger than before

IN a recent editorial there was speculation if Henry Boot had any surprises for us. The answer is yes they have. Firstly the mass of the building

IN a recent editorial there was speculation if Henry Boot had any surprises for us. The answer is yes they have. Firstly the mass of the building is even bigger than before, sprawls along the promenade with a mishmash of architectural design. The overall appearance would look at home on a retail park and is totally inappropriate for a conservation area and a beautiful bay. Secondly the plans now include a conference centre which could take business away from the Winter Gardens and put even more financial pressures on this venue. Thirdly the middle section of Beach Lawns has been lost to allow entry to the car park. The events which utilise the full length of the lawns will no longer be able to take place. Also the attractiveness of this spread of lawn in the conservation area will be lost for ever. The reason the council is even considering this development on the beach is to get a free pool. However, it is probable that within a few years this could close, as allowed by the legal agreement between North Somerset Council and Henry Boot, if it does not make money and the council which is always looking to cut its costs is highly unlikely to exercise its step-in option so we will have this monster and no pool.There is an argument that Weston and North Somerset will benefit from some of the features but surely the opportunity should not be lost to include them in the redevelopment of the Dolphin Square. The decisions to be made in 2008 will have repercussions for many years to come. Apparent short term gains should not be made which for many years to come people will wonder how on earth did they agree to put that there. Ask the people of Bournemouth about their closed Imax on the front.PETER DOWNS - Via email


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