On Thursday night, I attended a packed meeting at Booths Books in the centre of market town Hay-On-Wye on the Welsh borders.
Rumours have been flying for around three years that a major supermarket was coming to Hay. Finally the rumour mill had gathered enough force to confront the local county council - Powys. Unfortunately none of the key players bothered (or wanted) to attend so it was left to the two local councillors to chair the heated but intelligent gathering.
Basically, Hay has been given a choice...the town gets a new school (around 240 pupils) and a "major retailer" who funds the school gets to plonk a "retail development" bang in the middle of Hay.
The implications of this affects the future of a small market town filled with individual shops, with no real traffic infrastructure which is bang in the middle of a National Park, and begs the politically sensitive question..."since when do "retail developments" fund schools here in the UK?"
My blog will now document the town's fight against this car crash of an idea, starting today with a letter addressed to the main two protagonists at Powys......
Here is my letter to Powys County Council:
"Dear Jeremy Patterson and Michael Jones,
I am writing concerning the development of Hay School by Gaufron Developments.
I wish to make the following demands:
1. To demand that Powys County Council agree to an open and honest meeting with the Hay community in a public forum ASAP.
2. To demand that Powys County Council take into full consideration the implication of a development of a retail site in Hay.
3. To demand that Powys County Council do not enter into any option agreement with a developer until due process has been followed."
LET THE BATTLE COMMENCE.
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