Worrying plans

PUBLISHED: 12:41 02 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:32 06 May 2010

Having spent eight years providing 33,000 Letchworthians with a pleasant, successful and lively town centre, the Heritage Foundation has now announced its future plans for the area which, if implemented, will result in a lop-sided town having an oppressiv

Having spent eight years providing 33,000 Letchworthians with a pleasant, successful and lively town centre, the Heritage Foundation has now announced its future plans for the area which, if implemented, will result in a lop-sided town having an oppressively over-built area behind the town hall, set to become a museum of international status. Does it not occur to the Foundation that visitors to Letchworth would prefer to visit the Heritage Museum in Norton Way South which has charm, authenticity as the birthplace of the First Garden City in the offices of Parker and Unwin and which demonstrates that if the idea is right, it does not need help to spread worldwide from a modest beginning.

Furthermore the garden city principle of zoning if applied would ensure that the democratically elected town council be based in the town hall.

Why then is the Heritage Foundation promoting this unnecessary plan which flies in the face of advice given to local authorities and individuals alike 'Reduce, reuse and recycle', which will use more landfill space, cause chaos and be enormously expensive. Could the answer be that it will provide a smokescreen to divert attention from a side-stepping of responsibility?

Although a year or two ago, having insisted on its right to add the words Garden City to the town's postal address, the Heritage Foundation have nevertheless apparently since decided not to fulfil its corresponding responsibilities by acting thereafter in the manner of the pioneers, and indeed has shelved the town motto Prudens future in favour of the undemanding Proud past, bright future. If alive today, Ebenezer Howard and company would certainly prioritise a change in farming policy. With climate change in mind, crops would not be exported. Immediate steps would be taken to change from the now discredited farming with chemicals policy with its resultant ultimate contamination of groundwater and traces of chemicals in crops having low nourishment value to organic farming. This would be a challenging matter, made more difficult by the fact that, with no thought for the future, housing units have recently been built in farm buildings at Manor Farm, Willian and Paynes Farm, luxury flats at Nortonbury whilst the farmhouse at Willbury Hills has been sold.

JANET HULL, Croft Lane, Letchworth

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