In reply to J White’s claim that only ‘dinosaurs’ oppose new building in Whitby (16 December); I think he’s mixed up a number of issues.
Living in the 21st Century does not mean it’s a good idea to throw town planning out of the window - having KFC/McD’s would not make Whitby a ‘prosperous large town’; it might make a few happy until the novelty wears off but would lose money via tourists who visit because Whitby isn’t like every other tedious homogenised UK town/city with the same corporate global chains that litter (literally) the high streets. And surely it’s more profitable for a town to have take-aways owned by local people using local produce?
Affordable housing is essential, but not with strings attached or it becomes about fat-cat profit rather than what’s best for people of the area. There are already many new builds but they all seem to end up as ‘investment property’ Some holiday lets are necessary, obviously, but there needs to be a balance; a limit to second homes or the heart of Whitby will be effectively dead with no permanent residents.
J White claims “most towns and cities are moving forward” but where to exactly? Recession has hit ALL of the UK - at least Whitby has it’s heritage and culture intact enough to draw in visitors (and their cash) as well as also being a great place to live for the residents. He says the Co-op is expensive but that doesn’t mean there aren’t bargains to be found around town, a canny shopper will always get by, with or without giant drive-in supermarkets; it’s not a reason to feel “deprived”!
The real “dinosaurs” are not the foresighted town planners of Whitby, but the people who refuse to learn from the past, who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. J White reckons the people who want to protect Whitby should “look outside of their pathetic insular lives”, he should visit my city to witness what happens when there’s no protection or care; the dysfunctional mess and dereliction caused by a council’s policy of trying to constantly ‘re-invent’, always another, expensive, new ‘vision’/gimmick to replace the last, the plot lost. At least we have a hell-ish ‘shopping-mall’ to lose ourselves in, if we have cars to get there.
NB - Neophobia is actually ‘fear of the new’, not “a morbid fear of change” and it’s an asset to survival rather than something to be derided.
Samantha Wright, Cambridge Court, Sheffield by email