One has to agree
that the Kensington development for Lytham is being very well spun. A glossy brochure to every household, display of models, regular full page adverts in the local press
extolling the benefits that could arise if the development goes ahead, persons of note being convinced to write letters of support. There is impressive organisation and
planning at work here.
That said, it is often true that the more effort dedicated to persuading us we should have something, the less we usually need it.
common sense dictates unused or redundant industrial land should be developed before taking green field sites, and many would agree the Government was well intentioned when it
made this a planning rule in 2000.
However, it probably didn't expect developers to start buying up industrial land, business by business; then closing and demolishing them
in a sort of do-it-yourself redundant land kit that sees the land value multiply by a factor of 10 or whatever if it gets a planning permission that changes the use from
industrial to residential.
Nor did the Government expect to see the loss or removal of jobs - up to a thousand in this case - from an area where embryonic and small businesses could thrive in support of
the local community in Lytham.
The one thing Lytham has is its character and integrity. It is an honest town. Small independent family businesses and a populace comprising many retired professionals produce a
genuine upmarket ambience, but it is not pretentious.
Contrast that honesty with: the proposed reproduction half-scale model of the "Mary Rose"; architecture that takes
its inspiration from Scandinavia; a layout that pretends it is part of Venice; and public spaces designed to make you think you are in an Italian piazza, and you see the damage
that this sort of pretensions can do to the character and integrity of a town like Lytham.
It is no surprise that it is being called Disneyland locally.
We hope Lytham manages to defend itself against this threat and wish Mrs. Jack and the Defend Lytham group every success.
Dated: 11 July 2005