Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Very Big Day for Welshpool.

Today, Powys County Council approved a planning application which will fundamentally change the market town nearest to our home. The changes are dramatic and three of them are particularly significant.

Firstly, the building of a new livestock market on the edge of the town will ensure that Welshpool remains a major centre for the collection and distribution of the animals produced in the fertile livestock producing area of the Severn Valley and beyond - as it has done for generations.

Secondly, it will lead to a major redesign of the retailing and parking layout of the town, including a major new supermarket - which is sufficiently near to the town centre (in my opinion) to do more good than harm (though its impact on different businesses will inevitably vary).

And thirdly it will introduce a one-way traffic system which will transform the environment of the main street from that of traffic chaos that currently pertains. There are several other less significant changes.

I realise that there has been concern about the impact of such change on Welshpool, and that not everyone is in favour. Much of the opposition is against the new supermarket - without which there would have been no funding for the livestock market. I must admit that I have supported this application, in principle since it was first put forwards in 2006. Hopefully, it will turn out to be the right decision. I firmly believe that it will provide a real boost to Welshpool.


The Finch said...

I can see you have no experience
of the retail world.
It will spell the demise of many a small business I am afraid.

Glyn Davies said...

the finch - as a matter of fact I do have some experience - and I know how worrying it is when some competition arrives on the doorstep. There will inevitably be some retailers who can only see the downside. I just think this redevelopment will greatly increase the overall retail spend in Welshpool and reduce the current leakage to Shropshire. And anyway, there was not much choice. UIt would have been a real disaster if Welshpool (Montgomeryshire) had lost its only livestock market - which it would have done at some stage in the not too distant future. And the only way of raising the funding to build a new livestock market is through a supermarket development. It was just a question of whether a satisfactory overall package was achievable - and it looks quite good to me. The main question that remain for me is what sort of retailing will be allowed from the other units - and whether specific protection can be built in for some of the current town centre traders. I just think that you are being too pessimistic.