There has been so much written about this topic, lots of words (the best words) and the whole mis-management of the planning process is now out there in the public domain.
So why do I care?
In essence it is just retail, no one should be fighting for something that you can get in the Town centre?
There lies the crux, I will now vent my spleen.
I do not care about the town centre, because the town centre does not care about me.
So what is my actual beef, and is it rational?
In summary the town centre and parking is not designed or is being designed (Town Plan) to be fully accessible for people with disabilities.
From town centre parking spaces rarer than rocking horse sh*t, to no dropped kerbs from the only same level access car park from St Mary’s. The future local plan could be used to make the town accessible, sadly it is not.
You cannot even use most of the High Street during market days, and the majority of the time the pavements are littered with A boards. Try moving a wheelchair down here on these days.
The 3-hour parking allowance is not enough time to park, shop and eat, which is a normal weekend family activity.
Loading and un-loading a wheelchair is not a quick task and could take up to 20% of your allocation.
So my anger is because there is no consideration for people with disabilities. This contravenes section 49a of the disabled discrimination act of 1995 to promote an active place in the community.
My anger is also down to Coalition councillors not wanting to engage with regards to the local plan. The majority of these councillors are self serving and professional politicians who work on party lines and will not consult across the political spectrum.
I have no time for them, because they have no time for people with disabilities.
This tells me that Colchester Council works as an autocracy.
So why Tollgate?
We can park, shop, eat and not rush. A provision and facility designed to move freely around and engage in the community.
Attempting to try a pair of trousers on a child in a wheelchair quickly is not something I have ever managed.
If you never had to value these things, then you could not possible understand.
Now Social media is full of faux-clever, linear thinking, communist valuing twats. Who subscribe to a utopian vision cooked up in the 70 year old mind of a North London multi millionaire bearded socialist who thinks Venezuela is a model economy, whilst knowing he has a million pound pension to fall back on.
We do not trade diamonds for kale or sell our bodies for half a potato as we actually live in the real world, a free market economy.
Social enterprise is a different prospect as they have a unique selling point of being local high quality service providers. Cause related businesses are important to support.
My point being is that only council approved shops are censorship and contrary to the free market we live in. Competition is good for the consumer when service becomes the key differentiator.
The behaviour of Colchester Borough Council to stop free trade, reduce the market and only wanting their own developments approved is protectionism.
Boutique and independent shops are important. However, if they do not have multiple sales channels they would suffer and no parking does not help them either.
Colchester will soon move to over 200k residents and South Colchester is a high density population. If you pushed everyone into town it would be carnage. To coin a favourite phrase of mine…
You cannot get 10lbs of monkey crap into a 5lb bag.
No matter what Fenwicks thinks….
Fight the power!