Drinkers’ haven is ideal for precinct

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THERE has been much discussion lately about the future of Spalding town centre, yet no mention has been made of a most important site right in the heart of the ancient town.

I refer to an ill-maintained car park which is nowadays almost a no-go area for ordinary residents because it has become the haunt of groups of drinkers.

Last time I saw it, the number of cans left lying around was unbelievable, and the surroundings in general are a disgrace to the town.

As it happens, the site of the medieval priory lies underneath all this squalor, and surely deserves more respect.

This land lies between The Crescent and the Market Place, with approaches from Francis Street and Gore Lane.

My suggestion is that the shopping precinct alleged to be needed should be built there, leaving Holland Market alone and letting the Halley Stewart Field remain as a “green lung” in a concrete wilderness polluted by petrol fumes.

Ideally it should be open to the public and developed as a peaceful recreational area. After all, we are the rightful owners “in perpetuity”.

Under my scheme, the drinkers would be dislodged and The Crescent traders would no longer feel isolated from the main shopping areas.

As to car parking, why not follow the example of some large hotels and use the ground floor level for the cars, with lifts and ramps up to the shopping malls?

All that is needed as a first step is to acquire the land from its present owners and make it available to a sympathetic developer, who would fulfil planning requirements.