13/10/2009

No funding for latest town centre plans say Assembly

The National Assembly says the latest radical plans for Aberystwyth town centre are too ambitious to receive public funding. That is despite the developer putting forward new unpublished proposals said to have taken into account the views of the public following widespread protests in May.

The Assembly’s statement reads,
"The Welsh Assembly Government has been presented with revised proposals for the Post Office site in Aberystwyth. The proposals put forward by the developer have clearly taken into account some of the views put forward by local people and are now more sympathetic. “The illustrated scheme would still, however, require the purchase of significant additional areas of property and appear to be unviable without considerable public sector funding. The developer has been told by Welsh Assembly Government officials that these revised options are therefore unlikely to receive public sector funding support at this time, but has been invited to discuss alternative proposals in the future should he wish to do so."

It should be remembered that there was general support and hardly any opposition to the original Masterplan proposals for the site. These were properly consulted on in November and December last year and envisaged developing simply the old sorting office site without demolishing any of the small shops around (see above). It's only since the attempt to greatly expand this scheme out of all recognition from the public consultation that it's run into difficulty.

Although economic conditions have worsened since plans were first broached, it seems likely now that the controversial expanded scheme was never going to be viable, protests or no protests. The developer should now surely go back to the original Masterplan proposals for the derelict sorting office that won public backing. The statement from the Assembly certainly leaves that possibility open

4 comments:

  1. So ... what about the proposal of the use of CPOs - will the local government/council retract this now?

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  2. If I read your blog correctly, you would be supportive of a development based on the 'Masterplan' proposal for the site?

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  3. Let me try to understand this, Ceredigion Council at the time of the enlarged proposal said it was the WA who were supportive of the proposal and would possibly provide funding. Now the WA are saying that funding is not available and they MAY consider another proposal. There is a decisive element to all this that should see something happening in 10, 20 ,30 years. It seems to me that if a scheme cannot be self supportive then there will be no development of this site. It then begs the question about the other parts of the masterplan and how they would be funded. Perhaps the money spent on the new coucil and WA offices should have been put into developing the town centre to benefit all and not just the 800+ who now have free car parking, subsidised meals, air conditioned offices as well as guaranteed jobs. When considering the town centre economics did the council factor in the loss of 800+ regular customers to the new offices.?? A masterful piece of joined up and strategic thinking.
    I look forward to the next gem to emerge.

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  4. Amanda - It looks as if the CPO threat has been retracted by default. However formal confirmation would be good.

    Anonymous - This week's local paper quotes me as saying,
    "I'd like to see if a more modest scheme, similar to the original (i.e. the Nov/Dec Materplan proposals), would be
    affordable. The statement from the Assembly certainly leaves that
    possibility open and I think that's what should be pursued now."

    ReplyDelete