Take a long hard look at Eastbourne and ask yourself of the discussed new developments which ones could be described as - fitting in with the overall style of the town (is there one? - it is a bit of a mish mash, like the large majority of towns it has grown up organically!) - that does not matter, so long as there is no divide between the planners.
From what we have seen of them are the plans forward looking? Has any market research been carried out to profile the future of town centres, out of town shopping and general changes in how people want to shop?
The new Arndale Centre is already keen to knock out the competition, they would be better off studying what is happening and what can be expected to happen to the ‘high street’. The new Arndale Centre is out of date before it has been built.
What is going to bring back a town centre with heart? A place where people meet, enjoy events, eat, listen to music and shop. What do people want when shopping in town centres are exciting and unusual things that need exposure to keen purchasers fed up with standard products on the Internet. The I nternet cannot capture the magic of, for instance, hand crafted goods. There are dozens of artisans working with unusual materials and styles. We not only stopped making things, we stopped selling them on the home market.
Street markets with buskers do appear - it’s a start!
People should live in town centres, this avoids no go areas. Eastbourne has this mix to its credit. Don’t knock down housing for shopping malls.
Strong links with town events to make a cohesive statement about the town, and the community would fuel a revival of interest in shopping and going out.
It would be good to think that the energies of our planners were going into the production of more wealth for the town, not on how to bag it for one, at the expensive of another.