Colin’s column - unhappy at more cloning of our town

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Reading the front page of the Whitby Gazette the other week about the Travelodge and Marstons pub development on the business park just totally peeved me off.

If ever there was a story more designed to make me rant, this is it.

We simply do not need either in Whitby, they won’t bring us any more business, they will simply further dilute existing trade and take their slice of the money.

Whitby does not have a lack of hotel beds, Whitby does not have a lack of eateries, whoever is telling you different probably feeds seagulls.

And why would anyone want to stay up on the business park when we have such a huge range of great places to stay all over town?

Oh I know, what might sweeten the deal for visitors, how about we make the town centre impossible to park in so hotel and B&B owners have to charge extra for zone parking, then we will let a chain open up with a huge free car park – that will really peev everyone.

Do the authorities want us to hate them? I can’t think of one good reason to stick this type of hotel and pub in Whitby.

I know I have a pub and know that it will affect me directly, but I am always up for a bit of healthy competition if someone is opening something different, or special, or a one-off, but this is just more beige slop food, sticky highchairs and forced smiles, the stuff of nightmares.

We really need to appreciate what we already have, we have great places to eat, drink and stay – people come here because of it, so why do we want to offer such a soulless experience to potential frequent visitors, because someone somewhere will be making a fast buck at our expense.

The only saving grace is that it was not a Premier Inn. I met Lenny Henry once and I don’t think I could cope if he was constantly popping round town cracking his hilarious jokes and shouting.

So no, I’m not very happy about the further cloning of our town, we don’t need it and we are fools if we let ourselves become another dead-eyed, lifeless stag and hen destination, stinking of cheap food, pink Stetsons and sick.