Grave concerns for its sustainability

AS a businessman I believe that there is a need to develop Dolphin Square and other areas within Weston. But when I look at the way the development

AS a businessman I believe that there is a need to develop Dolphin Square and other areas within Weston. But when I look at the way the development is taking place I have grave concerns for its sustainability, and achievability. If we look at the proposed speed of development of Dolphin Square one cannot help wonder why such a large project is being pushed through so quickly after years of silence from this administration.Looking at the economics of the proposed development they do not stand up: 40 per cent of all retail is now done on the internet. We have large out-of-town shopping areas plus more proposed retail development out of town. The Sovereign Centre is just about ticking over. The High Street has low usage. We have poor parking and road access to the town centre from all points. Purchasing the leases will be only one part of the financial jigsaw. Business will have to be compensated for loss of earnings. The development of Dolphin Square and Tropicana will impact all aspects of tourism, so the hoteliers, the Grand Pier owners and others reliant on the tourist trade will be able to seek compensation for loss of earnings.Surely before such large scale development takes place the infrastructure, roads, parking, etc., should be in place. Almost all the assets that once belonged to Weston are now in private hands. Dolphin Square will end up the same. Contractors will fund the construction and the risk will be shouldered through guaranteed long term rent streams for council offices inside the new build.End result? Taxpayers will purchase the leases, give the land to the developers to develop and rent the finished offices back from the developer at a premium rate paid from council tax receipts.Like a comic opera.JAMES A DOBSON - Swan Close, Weston


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