In the Report of the Assistant Chief Executive on Aberystwyth town centre development opportunity (click on “Swyddfa Bost/ Post Office”), letters from the chain stores’ headquarters have been included in an appendix of correspondence supporting the main report.
Clarks state “Please can you register our opposition to the proposed development. We would not wish our shop to be acquired by Compulsory Purchase in order to facilitate the redevelopment proposal.”
Dolland & Aitchison echoed these concerns, saying, “We object to this proposal on the basis that we are happy with our representation in the town and would not wish to suffer the inevitable inconvenience and disruption that would result from the redevlopment of this area.”
The Clinton Card Group expressed strong opposition:
“The block within which we are a tenant is an integral part of Aberystwyth town centre and provides a significant variety of retailers that is becoming ever more rare in town centres. There is no need to introduce a single department store that will effectively destroy the mix of retailers in the high street and this can only be to the detriment of both the existing traders and shoppers in the town. It is with this in mind that I urge that this decision is reconsidered.”
When the plans were first revealed in The Cambrian News in February, it was suggested that a multi-screen cinema might also form part of the retail development. With three cinemas already existing in the town, it’s understandable that the managers of these local facilities would want to add their own voices to the opposition.
Michael Davies, owner of the Commodore Cinema in Bath Street, has expressed his surprise and dismay regarding the news, saying he was “astounded that anyone would think that a multi-screen cinema could be viable in a town the size of Aberystwyth.”
Alan Hewson, Director of Aberystwyth Arts Centre, shared these concerns.
“Any plans for a multi-screen cinema […] would have an adverse and dramatic effect on the running of our own cinema as part of the Arts Centre whilst also impacting on our committment to provide specialist programming.”
The report – which also draws councillors’ attention to the 2100 signature-strong petition presented to Eurfyl Evans and mentions the Cadw Calon Aberystwyth Facebook group – will be presented to the Council Cabinet at their monthly meeting on June 2nd at Penmorfa, Aberaeron. Representatives from Cadw Calon Aberystwyth will be attending to discover first-hand how local democracy deals with the development plans and, most crucially, whether the blight of Compulsory Purchase Orders will finally be formally lifted.