Fast-food as soon as you step off the train
I recall some years ago when the Halletts Garage site on the corner of Station Road West and St Dunstan’s Street was being developed that I visited the site and was shown the archaeology; a large number of Roman burials were removed from that site at considerable expense.
That area of the city seems to have been an industrial suburb during Roman times and in line with their normal practice to carry out burials outside the city walls and alongside roads it is to be anticipated that there may be many more burials close to the old Halletts site, unless they have been removed. Assuming the worst, development of a multi-storey car park on the council car park site will not be cheap.
I floated the idea when I was at the council that we should keep the frontage trees and restrict the new development to the existing hard surfaced area with a frontage of single-aspect housing or flats facing Station Road West itself and concealing the multi-level car park behind them, as was done years ago at the Castle Street multi-storey car park.
Of course we could do better architecture than that, I would suggest taking inspiration from the Station Road West redevelopment – but then I would, wouldn’t I, having been closely involved with it?
It was, however, held up in a government case study as an exemplar of “how to do it” in its time.
Getting the architecture right is only part of the solution however, the other is getting the use right and I am concerned about the suggestion that the frontage to Station Road West should be given over to shops – that is just too unlikely to happen. The size and depth of the shops will have to be limited if the car park is not to be reduced: That and the fact that the site is “off-pitch” means that “high street” names will not be interested. The cost of the development will mean that small traders will not be able to afford the rents, even if they wanted to trade there, and that will leave only one alternative.
After all, if you’ve just got off the train you’ll want to pick up a Mcdonald’s or KFC takeaway on the way home. How easy will that be!
And think what a wonderful entrance to the city that will be for visitors, or alternatively think of the rental income the city council would be able to get from a street of fast-food take-aways just outside the station. Bob Britnell Orchard Close, Canterbury were invited to a meeting on April 27.
The subject line was “An invitation to select Julian Brazier as our Parliamentary candidate”.
The association chairman sent out a separate email headed “Julian Brazier needs YOUR help” which described the meeting as: “a really important meeting to show our support both for Julian and for Theresa May’s bold step in calling this snap General Election.”
At the meeting, Sir Julian spoke but no questions were allowed and only about 20 of those present were invited to cast a secret ballot.
Although some votes were cast against selecting Sir Julian, more voted in favour and those present were then invited to endorse this decision.
If questions had been allowed, perhaps those present would have realised that Sir Julian had already secured the enthusiastic public backing of Ukip and been concerned at the contamination of the Conservative brand.
As it was, the association chair succeeded in denying an open selection process. The rest, as they say, is history. It seems to me totally unsatisfactory that the selection of an individual who may have the responsibility of representing everyone in this city should be in the hands of small, self-selected group who have bought their right to vote by paying a fee to a political party. It need not be thus. When the Conservative candidacy for Rochester and Strood became vacant after Mark Reckless defected to Ukip on 27 September 2014, the Conservative Party organised an open primary.
Everyone on the electoral roll was asked to choose between two Conservative aspirants.
Some 5,688 people voted in the primary – one in eight of those who voted in the actual by-election and over a third of those who cast their votes for the