So, are we to see yet another nail driven into the coffin of what was once one of the Midland’s largest market towns? A town once described as The Queen of the Erewash Valley? It would seem so.
That is if the proposed development of the college site off Field Road gets the go-ahead.
And does Ilkeston really need another huge supermarket complex built on its outskirts which, along with the two stores at the north end, will effectively pinch off the town centre from the south?
And how do the people of Field Road and the surrounding area feel when the planners have described it as ‘run-down’ and in need of regeneration?
And just where did they get their photographs from to prove this point? One even features the old Kensington Mission, which to my knowledge, was demolished some decades ago!
Whenever these businesses move into an area, they take a close look at what is being sold locally.
If there’s a chemist, they will have one in store; DIY, same thing; petrol station, likewise – and before you know it, surprise, surprise, the small local ones fade away leaving a string of ugly, empty, boarded-up premises.
Einstein once said words to the effect that a sure sign of insanity was when someone continually repeats the same action but expects a different result each time.
Over the years local authorities have welcomed these organisations only to scratch their heads when confronted with what to do with the inevitable decay of the town centres.
OK, these are big organisations and have enormous power but if we are to allow these things to arrive in town, why not invite them, or even oblige them, to take up residence in the town centre itself?
Mini versions of the larger stores keep popping up all over the place, but, for heaven’s sake, why not invite one of them to take up residence in the former Argos premises, or in the Albion precinct, half of which now seems empty?
We have an empty sports centre in the middle of town – surely a potential site for such redevelopment?
Parking at any of the large supermarkets is free so why should a shopper drive further into town?
Unless of course it’s the fear of an inflexible pay-and-display ticket system or the ever-present warden, always on the lookout for an opportunity to persuade a shopper to clear off elsewhere.
I’ve no real problem with big stores and use them to a certain extent myself, but not to the point that I forego using local shops and markets wherever possible.
Yes, we need the new housing which will occupy the site, but why not use the whole site for that purpose only, thus attracting more people to live near the town centre?
Perhaps Mary Portas would like to say something?