Letter: Planning is needed to stop the sad death of our high streets
SIR – Your unnamed correspondent is correct that our high streets were designed for shops (Letters, 13th November). However, that and the lack of proactive thinking by our councillors is the problem.
I realise, flushed from the ‘victory’ of Brexit, there is a vision of dragging the country back to the stygian gloom of the 1950s, curiously perceived with ‘Hovis commercial’ nostalgia.
Last week I made several bank transactions, renewed a magazine subscription, requested a repeat prescription, bought two books, a replacement handle and lock for my garage, some photo paper for my printer, and a case (or two) of wine while sat in my recliner and using my iPhone.
We made our fortnightly supermarket visit to purchase groceries, collect the prescription from the in-store pharmacy and, while there, remembered I needed A4 paper and bought a birthday card.
I also picked up my A&T (well, Lymington Times as one is a Waitrose customer).
The only trip planned to New Milton high street is to take a crate of DVDs made obsolete as we download our entertainment from the streaming services. And I am 75 and not particularly cyber savvy.
Online and hypermarket model supermarkets are the future and it is a sad, horrible death for high streets unless there is proactive planning. An example: the Cooperative store failed. That site could be developed as a gated community of sheltered, affordable or retirement homes. Other declining high streets could provide ‘brown sites’ for housing.
There is complexity, legal and planning issues. However, no green fields would disappear and no bugs, beetles or crested newts would be endangered.