YOUR VIEW: Influx would be bad news for Holbeach

Paul Foyster
Paul Foyster
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Have your say

I would like to respond to the letter from Trevor Negus in last week’s Spalding Guardian regarding the proposed new housing developments in Holbeach.

Our town is all too keen to move forwards, investment is more difficult.

Most people in Holbeach, and certainly those on the parish council, agree that new homes are needed and we are happy to take our share. The question is one of quantity and location.

The number of new residents that these new houses would bring would more or less swamp our public services and roads.

It’s unlikely that the services will be upgraded sufficiently, or in time, and there is little that can be done about the town centre roads.

After many months of lobbying the county council, we have managed to gain a few new parking spaces, while the new roundabout at Peppermint junction, which should have been built years ago, will help.

Few of the new residents will work in the town. The estates are more likely to become dormitory areas for Perterborough, King’s Lynn and Spalding.

Previous building projects have not helped and little investment has actually reached the town, though some new jobs have been provided at the university campus and food processing developments on our outskirts, which we welcome.

The decline of the market and the high street, which were thriving a few years ago, can be blamed on a large number of factors.

These include internet shopping, more supermarkets, bank closures, the loss of long-term free parking in Boston Road and increased rentals on shops.

Holbeach also suffers from poor geography, not helped by a long, narrow main street with limited short-term parking.

There is more that traders can do and several initiatives have been launched over the years, with varying degrees of success.

This will continue but it’s hard to get people engaged when a lack of footfall reduces their income, meaning they simply can’t afford to invest.

The recent revaluation of business premises has at least not increased rates, although it’s strange that those in Spalding and other large towns have fallen, some dramatically, when ours have not. At least we’ve not been hit as hard as Long Sutton.

I do hope that the comment about “their jobs being affected” does not refer to parish councillors, who are all unpaid volunteers and give up their time to try to help their community.

Parish councillors face an increasingly difficult task, as costs increases and funding from higher central government diminishes.

Sadly, this is a political issue. Spending cuts in other areas would be much more appropriate.