Letter to Stourbridge News
If you are intending to run an article following the Decision made by Dudley Planning Committee this evening, I am more than willing to ‘put my head above the parapet’ and be counted in having objective, but adverse opinion. I’m sure Chris Bramall, another Parliamentary candidate from last May, who was sitting beside me in the public gallery and appeared to be of similar opinions could also be persuaded to comment…Chris?
I canvassed the committee members before the event, having inadvertently missed the deadline to register to speak in objection, as you may know as I copied your colleague Bev Holder in with my e-mail of Friday’s date, and have sent Cllr Southall a note of thanks for trying to represent my concerns; unfortunately he took certain aspects out of context as I never intended to infer that new development should be an ape or pastiche of former historic styles. The fact that Cllr Knowles registered to speak in objection, but spent the first two and three quarter minutes of his allotted three supporting aspects of the scheme was nothing short of bizarre! The eager opinion of our Councillors that the scheme should be Approved because we, the people of Stourbridge are ‘unlikely to be offered any better’ shows weakness in the face of a powerful commercial Applicant (who has demonstrated continued commitment to investment in the town), ill considered expressions of desperation, a betrayal of their duty and a disregard for the future integrity of our Town. The constant referral to the proposal being better than the existing that we have is akin to suggesting that influenza is better than measles. Lessons to be learned from the existing and precedent elsewhere, despite examples of good urban design in a similar historic market town (Ludlow, from the same Applicant) being handed to both the Planners and the Committee have been ignored. Architecture and Planning should strive for the pursuit of excellence; this scheme could have been easily so much better, and possibly with a smaller budget…a travesty.
If you are minded to discuss this with me, please feel free to call.
Alun R Nicholas RIBA
Amcanu’n Uchel Limited
47 Clark Street
West Midlands DY8 3UF