There’s a lot to be positive about in the city
THERE have been many positive developments in the physical look of the city in the last few years.
I am one of the few people it seems willing to defend the new look city centre. Having visited at night to eat and witnessed both lighting and fountains it was no surprise to see the project given an award. The improvement in the area around St.john’s Church is outstanding.
The embarrassment of successive illthought-out war memorial projects has finally been corrected by the construction of a traditional memorial in a prominent location.
We have a fantastic revamped museum and city shopping will be given a boost by the expansion of Queensgate and arrival of Primark.
Development (or at least demolition) has begun on the South Bank and I hope our fledgling University, as proposed in city-wide consultations, is given the opportunity to grow there and add to the culture of the city.
It would be wrong, however, not to have a few concerns. With expansion the benefits of the excellent parkway system are slowly being lost and more thought should be given as to how the road networks of new housing estates connect with the city centre. We all know that times are tight, but the gates of the city are starting to look shabby, with trees growing in gutters across town.
There are also planning inconsistencies. The rush to build houses on land at the Peterborough United Football Ground is surprising and in my opinion counter to the ambitions of the football club and its dynamic chairman.
From a local perspective, I also question the logic and indeed, apparent snobbery of the planners that decided a block of flats in the back gardens of Arundel Road in Walton was appropriate for the area.
There remains a threat to the future of the excellent Brewery Tap and the city council needs to end its preoccupation with building supermarkets and retail units in areas where the roads cannot support them.
Peterborough retains the capability to be a great city.
With the loss of its daily newspaper and local radio services (I include the changes to Paul Stainton’s BBC breakfast show) and the move to an online identity, it is important that pressure continues to be brought on the city’s decision makers to get things right.
STEVE TURNER North of the River