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Opinion : Are the Baker Street regeneration plans the most repugnant since the ‘Booker Stadium’?

| February 7, 2017

Once again a ‘consultation’ is being launched on plans to regenerate parts of Wycombe.

Despite the public giving their views on many consultations in the past the plans always seem go ahead regardless. In fact I often wonder if the views of the public are actually listened to as the ‘consultations’ seem to be no more than a rubber stamp exercise that has very little baring on the overall course of the development.

‘Masterplans’, stadiums at Booker, coach parks, shopping centres… Wycombe has seen them all. Or should that be Wycombe has endured and suffered them all?

Rather than pushing the town forward the schemes, in my opinion, set us back decades and leave our town broken and fragmented. Yet still the consultations come like Martians arriving to take over earth in a science fiction book.

The latest ‘consultation’ to hit the town will affect the Baker Street area.

The other day my good self took a look at the Baker Street consultation plans. ‘By George!’ I exclaimed upon seeing the plan for the area. Do you know I’ve never seen anything more likely to decimate the town that these awful plans?

The first phase will see a new shop built for a well known budget retailer. After reading the consultation document I am left wondering why on earth Wycombe is pandering to the needs of a retailer rather than the needs of the town and its people.

The new shop will see the destruction of the George Street car park which currently provides 183 parking spaces. The car park for the new shop will only have 92 spaces.

Close by, in George Street, is a doctor surgery. As one of my friends pointed out they will no longer be able to park close to their doctors leaving the sick to walk a long way to get medical treatment. It seems that enticing a budget retailer to the town is more important than giving the sick easy access to a doctor. Surely this is shameful?

Several roads in the area appear to be truncated in the new scheme therefore ruining the historical layout of the area.

A car dealership is also planned for the development. Who on earth wants another car dealer in town?

Artists studios are to be created from ‘shipping containers’! Good Heavens! What artist can find creativity in a metal box?

In my opinion the Baker Street development is lacking in thought, pandering to big business and ruining a historic part of Wycombe, surely this proposal must surely be one of the worst development that my good self has ever seen? Is this the most repugnant development since the plans for a stadium at Booker?

How much public money has been wasted producing this dreadful consultation? That money could have been spent providing services to the people of Wycombe.

I feel the Baker Street area should be used for housing rather than commercial purposes. Once again I fear the powers that be have got it very, very wrong and we are about to see another part of Wycombe ruined forever at the command of big business.

Wycombe does not need small scale employment from food shops, car dealerships and low level artists working in shopping containers. We need big factories, international businesses and thriving industry to provide large scale employment.

Is it about time local Government was re-organised in this part of the world then just maybe the stupid, daft and destructive regeneration schemes will cease?

What do you think?

If you want to see the Baker Street consultation plans you can view them using this link. If you want to comment in the consultation you can do so using this link.

*My blogs are published every Tuesday and Friday evening around 8.00pm here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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