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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/16/2018 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    Where to begin, there are multitude of factors that have played a part in the demise of the Town Centre, and it's not just a Warrington problem. If we start with the politicians, I would suggest that rather than an emotional attachment to and investment in a comprehensive vision (local plan), our politicians, either through laziness or ignorance, gave total cart blanche to the expediency of allowing a developer led strategy, which has resulted in piece meal and disjointed development. If we go back to the golden opportunity of Warrington New Town, we can discern that it was wrapped around the old Town without being integrated into it. The linear road system linked areas of NT development, rather than adopting a radial system that placed the TC at it's centre. It also gave rise to the "out of Town" retail phenomenon, which was car dependent, with the resultant sprawl of retail "sheds" we see today. All of which draw custom and activity away from the centre. Likewise, in the TC itself, we saw the development of Golden Square, which in effect was like moving the existing TC to the N/W of the TC, leaving other areas abandoned. Retail has a finite demand, and if you move it and concentrate it in one area, the rest dies. We've also got the issue of that demand, if residential dwellings, and thus population are moved outward, it's no wonder we witness reduced demand for shopping and entertainment. Finally, the advent of on-line shopping clearly doesn't help the high street's sustainability. Whether it's too late, I'm not sure, but any remedial strategy will take a generation to repair.
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