Friday, 18 November 2011

Sainsbury's want to muscle in too?


What is it with supermarkets? Aberystwyth has a number already, with an Aldi coming in the near future. The other day it was announced that people might be kicked out of their homes for a Tesco; now it turns out that Sainsbury's want to invade the town too, with a huge out-of-town development on a greenfield site. This would destroy a huge green area and lead to more traffic and journeys, and a further pull out of the Aberystwyth town centre.

In a recent fictional poll (which we didn't really conduct), we found that no-one in Aberystwyth was starving to death because they couldn't buy any food in a supermarket or other shop. When asked, none of the fictional people we spoke to said they needed yet more supermarkets to come along and pour down thousands more tons of concrete for a soulless warehouse and more grey car parks. As one made-up person said, "What I want is small independent shops in the town centre, not huge eyesores."

The Cambrian News hints at further strangeness- Aberystwyth University sold the land and tried to hide the details and figures, but apparently they sold it for for a million pounds. The land is now apparently being sold for over thirteen million pounds a few years later (again, the people involved are unwilling to be open about the figures), which seems to be very suspicious that the land could be used to make such a massive profit, and it was sold with no clauses that it needs to be kept for recreational use. As usual Aberystwyth University seemed to be incredibly secretive about its deals: really, what are they hiding if they are doing nothing wrong? Their publicity seems to talk about being part of the local community, but they are unwilling to be open about their deals. Apparently there is a top-secret investigation going on into alleged dodgy dealings. We can't tell you more because Aberystwyth University is keeping the details secret. As such there are at least three theories as to what is being investigated, and why the university is trying to keep it so hush hush.

Since it is the owner of Aberystwyth's Parc Lodge Hotel that is trying to sell the land which would lead to further losses of green space, we can only recommend that visitors to that town don't stay in the Parc Lodge Hotel (which is next to main roads and massive roundabouts and industrial parks anyway, so is hardly the nicest place to stay unless you love McDonalds). We are also disappointed in the developers Conygar for wanting to build on a huge greenfield area that would be much better off being planted with trees and used as a town recreational area.

We should add that people have been trying to make money by building on this land for many years, even though it was identified as recreational land in the Ceredigion Unitary Development Plan.

Update 14 January 2012:
The Cambrian News picked this story up on Thursday 12th January 2012, see below.

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