Please can you clarify who is holding Waitrose to ransom over the bridge and what the issues are? I had understood that the owners of Crown Mead had opposed the bridge and had adopted an 'over my dead body' attitude to the whole thing. What is the situation now?
I'm not sure who owns Crown Mead, but as I understand it the situation is this: Waitrose say that have put several 'reasonable' bids in, all of which have been rejected. Waitrose want to build the bridge and are ready to do so as soon as the land has been purchased, but say they will not be made to pay over the odds for the land.
I seems reasonable that Waitrose pays a fair price to build the bridge. Perhaps it is the owners of Crown Mead who are holding Wimborne, as well as Waitrose, to ransom. Perhaps all interested parties should be lobbying them to act in the intersts of the town and its people.
Having just found the article in the Echo dated 11th February 2011 entitled, 'Waitrose backs traders' frustrations over bridge plans in Wimborne' it seems that Myan Investments Ltd, which owns Crown Mead and whose managing agent is a Mr Shah, is frustrating the wishes of many townspeople, local traders, Waitrose and East Dorset District Council. The article states that a petition has been handed over and Mr Shah 'declined to comment' Hmmm!
My understanding is that the owners of Crown Mead have asked for £250,000 to allow the footbridge to be built, so on economic grounds alone it's cheaper for Waitrose to pay the fine. Obviously we'd like a decision to be made based on other grounds as well as economic ones but it seems slightly unreasonable to blame Waitrose for being unwilling to kowtow to a greedy landowner. (One would have thought that the owners of Crown Mead would want more people to come over and give extra business to their tenants WHSmith, McKays, Os.Bailey, et al, surely?)
Quite so - surely the bridge will increse traffic in to the shops in Crown Mead. It would seem that the motive here could be greedcombined with obstructiveness on the part of the landowner Perhaps they want the extra money to pay for a much needed and long overdue cleanup and renovation of Crown Mead...
£250,000? Then there is no incentive for Waitrose to even bother. Would the owner of Crown Mead prefer the businesses there to close down? Probably, then they could sell the land for redevelopment and make a packet. Greed rules our society, not common sense.
We've been viewing the "developments" from our home in Spain with absolute horror. We used to visit Wimborne a great deal until we moved in 2004 when the Waitrose development was being mooted.
Wimborne used to be one of the few still-successful towns we knew of in the UK. A Waitrose or any other supermarket on the edge of town (on a cricket pitch or not) was ALWAYS going to lead to the slow death of the town centre.
Town centres in Spain still have their own character yet here too, supermarkets on the edge are starting to suck the life out of the town centres. But short term greed always rules and the American donut syndrome will inevitably be the norm everywhere. (An American donut has nothing in the centre like nearly every American town these days).
WE MUST USE OUR LOCAL SHOPS! The real issue is that if all the people who say they value their local shops actually spend their money in those shops our local businesses will thrive. If they don't, the supermarkets will win, whether on an ex cricket pitch or in Poole or Ferndown. I understand from long term residents of Wimborne that the arrival of Somerfield (now the Co-op) in the 1980s preceded the closure of several local food shops. So come on Wimborne residents - buy everything you can in our local shops. You build relattionships with lovely people, get superb service and contrary to expectations, food is often better and cheaper too! And you get a bit more exercise strolling round town - bonus all round.