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VIDEO: Reader’s letter on the Morrisons store plan for Ripley

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The plan to build a Morrisons supermarket and the development associated with the Gateway scheme, which the store plan is part of, have caused much controversy. Some are against it while others are for it. But what’s your view?

Here’s what Peter Clay, of The Angel in Ripley had to say.

You can have your say too. Leave us your comments or email us at news@rhnews.co.uk.

Here is slideshow of the artist’s impressions of the store, which could be built on land off Nottingham Road.

Peter said: Re the Gateway/Morrisons supermarket plan for Ripley.

Readers of the Ripley & Heanor News may have read my comments, over the last several months, regarding the above. The local and political community still remains divided, something which is not surprising, but thankfully the matter seems to be drawing to a final conclusion.

I live and work in the area and my business is in Ripley town centre, so I am fully aware of the tensions, pressure and politics that exist in the area.

I have no political axe to grind or any political reputation to uphold.

I have had considerable time for both supporters and detractors of the planning proposals having read and listened carefully to the arguments “for and against”, I too have reservations in some areas, but overall I am in favour of the proposals for the following reasons:

n £3million promised by the local authority, allied to the £2million now offered by the developers, to be invested in Ripley town centre. Some might view it as a “sweetener”, but I see it as a game changing opportunity to enhance and improve our ailing town centre. The proposals allow for input from trade retailers, and larger national retailers, such as the Co-op should get on board and take advantage of this joint venture.

Improvements to the town centre will increase footfall and attract new retailers to the town centre.

Investment in the infrastructure to develop a much needed relief road at Codnor.

Amber Valley has to build several thousand houses over the next few years and must start somewhere.

Improved recreational and sports facilities for the local area.

Much needed national company capital investment to the area.

Much needed employment opportunities for all age groups.

There appears to be no alternative immediate proposals to help regenerate our town centre or area, help create jobs and attract this kind of investment.

The Gateway proposals are not just for now – they will help meet demands and needs for the years to come.

n Finally, the development will help “kick start” further enhancements and investments and move the area forward. There is no doubt that we are falling behind other areas and are in danger of stagnation.

n The town centre is already suffering a steady demise and deterioration due to a lack of investment and modernisation over the years, I feel. This decline will no doubt continue, even if the Gateway proposals do not go head. There is a real opportunity here to give the town centre a much needed boost and ally it to the Gateway development.

It is now 2014 and the world is moving forward and changing and we must move forward with it or get left behind.

If the Gateway proposals do not get the green light what will happen next?

We should be asking the local politicians that question, and see what plans they have as alternatives for the immediate future, especially as we need real positive action now.

I’d like to feel that our area will make some headway before I finally fall off my perch!

Peter Clay, The Angel, Ripley

 

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