I entirely agree with John Tanner (Missed the boat, October 20), not only about the problems of getting market traders to move to the new market square, but also that the new road scheme will not reverse the declining trend of Commercial Road.
The new £60m road scheme will only leverage mass utility flats and downmarket stores. It will never become a ‘destination’ shopping/leisure centre.
It will just be a forest of individual blocks scattered around the vacant land, as has happened with the rash of student housing blocks and the notorious yellow ‘fag end’ block dominating the skyline.
To compare it to the gleaming skyscrapers of New York or Shanghai is beyond belief.
Commercial Road has no ‘quality of place’. It’s an out-dated old high street which should be used to create local housing neighbourhoods, like John Pounds off Queen Street, not multi-storey Grenfell Towers and expensive new road systems.
As John Tanner says, there is great potential to create a futuristic development at Tipner West which the £60m should be used for to develop into a new heart for the city designed to 21st century world class standards. The present proposal has missed the boat.