So the hot topic of the moment is the so-called “developer” wars. We have Richard Garvie wanting to develop on the A16 and Corbo wanting to develop around the Holland Market Area.
With either scenario our first and foremost concern is our already-ailing town centre. However, if we are faced with a choice between a prospective new retail development in the town centre or one on the edge of the town we would support the one in the town centre.
This would at least bring more customers into the town and encourage them to visit other shops.
There is a lot of negativity amongst retailers in the town centre regarding any proposed development, which is perfectly understandable given the already difficult trading climate and low footfall.
However, I think we all must remain open minded. Spalding has to move forward with its retail offering if we are to reduce “leakage” to Peterborough and Boston, and we believe proposed development would generate substantial S106 monies which could be invested in the town centre.
We have only had an informal discussion with Michael Moran, Corbo’s GB representative and manager of the Holland Market, and whilst we have not seen any plans (and particularly how it will interface with the rest of the town), the meeting left us feeling positive.
We look forward to seeing the detailed plans and have been assured that there will be extensive consultation before the plans are formally submitted to South Holland District Council.
However, we are extremely keen to understand what plans the council have to safeguard the viability of the town as a whole and the Chamber already has a meeting planned with officers from the council’s economic development team.
Mr Moran is keen to consult with local businesses and with this in mind he has committed to attend our open members’ meeting on Tuesday (5.45pm at Broad Street Business Centre), where we hope to hear further details of his plans and be able to give our views. Non-member business leaders are more than welcome to attend and see what the Chamber is all about.
On the subject of meetings, please ensure you have our next speed-networking event in your diary – Thursday, April 19. The event is free of charge and a great opportunity to meet new business contacts.
Further details of these meetings are on our website www.spaldingareachamber.co.uk, along with other events and news and of course details on becoming a member of our Chamber.