To shop or not to shop?
PLANS for a possible shopping centre next to the new hospital building in Gandia (La Safor, Valencia) have been met with uproar from opposition members of the council, who say it would be 'disastrous' for local traders and the existing retail parks.
Business slumped at the Plaza Mayor shopping complex opposite Carrefour when La Vital opened just metres away from it in early 2006, and a third centre could make the effects even worse.
And local traders on the high street, both chain stores and independent shops and boutiques would also suffer, says council group Compromís.
The PP local government has always pledged not to build any more shopping parks in Gandia so as not to take trade away from stand-alone retailers, and Compromís says mayor Arturo Torró would be 'betraying' them by going back on his word.
But town planning councillor Toni Abad says nothing is set in stone as yet.
Local authorities want to change the 'classification' of the land the hospital is being built on from 'industrial' to 'commercial', in order to reduce costs and get the much-needed health trust open as soon as possible.
If it were changed to ' commercial', it would open the door for shops and retail centres to be constructed there.
Abad says the council is 'weighing up all the options', since the economic climate and the value of land and property nowadays is 'very different'.