06/03/2009

Traders Meet to Discuss CPO Plans

Thirty people, mainly local small traders, crammed into MG's cafe in Chalybeate Street tonight to discuss how to respond to plans for a massive demolition and re-building programme in Aberystwyth town centre between Great Darkgate Street, Chalybeate Street and Queen Street.

After a lot of discussion the meeting agreed to seek more detailed information and meet again in a week's time. Almost all those speaking were against the plans. However it was pointed out that the plans could benefit some of the multi-national chains occupying small shops in the areas affected. Although some local traders had heard whispers as long as several months ago, the main view expressed was outrage that most traders had heard about potential Compulsory Purchase Orders through the local paper before being approached by either the developer or the County Council.

Key dates in the near future are the meeting of the Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday 12th March which will receive a presentation by the Council's Economic Development Department (only open to Chamber members) and the Town Council meeting on Monday 23rd March which will hear a similar presentation (6.30pm, Swyddfa Sir. Albert Place. Although the public can't participate they're welcome to observe and hear the information).

The County Council are due to discuss plans for possible Compulsory Purchase Orders on April 30th at 10am in Penmorfa, Aberaeron

The Chair of the Chamber of Commerce encouraged all traders present to join the Chamber. Although he himself was not opposed to the scheme and felt there were some benefits, he made it clear that the Chamber would support the views of its members.

For more background see the links below from the Council Cabinet agenda on 24th February at which the decision was taken to pursue the Compulsory Purchase Orders if the Full Council agree. Click on 'Canol Tref Aberystwyth' or 'Aberystwyth Town Centre'.
http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=11883

There's also an online petition, somewhat oddly started by Conservative students, at: http://www.petitiononline.com/aber1/petition.html

And, for those who use Facebook, there's a page entitled 'Say no to Debenhams - say Yes to saving Aberystwyth's local businesses'.

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