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Less than the Ideal Building Site

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Angry residents packed the event to urge councillors to back them with the message "Please reject this scheme" Worries were voiced concerning flooding of homes and the fact that taxpayers were getting a raw deal for the land. After 4 hours of debate and voiced opinions town councillors agreed to adjourn the meeting and defer a decision because they did not have all the information needed. It was pointed out that an environmental report should have been ordered as a matter of course and that the highways department had recommended refusal because of traffic implications. The giving away of one-third of the site for such a small number of leisure facilities was not justified. The concentration of housing would desecrate the 17-acre site and those behind the project should think again.

County Councillor David Rowe agreed that too much land was being used for housing contrary to policy. He said minor meant 10 to 15% and in no stretch of the imagination 36%.

Residents called for a proper park to be created and the Martello Tower restored and said that the new homes would overshadow their properties.

Bloors Ark

The local press has had a field day in connection with the many startling facts revealed about the venture saying " two tickets for the deep end and two for the shallow please. A cartoon shows a family asking for tickets to Bloor Homes Amphitheatre and shows Life jackets Sand bags and breathing gear being offered.

Headlines include " Music venture touted as evacuation area " because developers Bloor Homes are suggesting that the amphitheatre will provide not just an open air concert venue ....but somewhere for families to climb to the top of and wait to be rescued if the area floods !

Chairman of the West End residents association said " it is unbelievable I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. The documents go on and on about how unlikely a flood would be, how houses can be safely built on a flood plain how sea defences will be improved. Then in the next breath they say that if there is a flood people in the area can all gather at the amphitheatre and climb to the top levels and wait for the waters to abate.

Lunatic Asylum ?

" The Martello Tower at Manor End could be turned into a lunatic asylum for those behind the ludicrous redevelopment  scheme."

Letter to Evening Star 2/2/04