Not the time to be hasty...

Smith House Lane


Part six on your series on Halifax’s Northgate development (29 January) had a subheading of “big decisions lie ahead”.

Just as the physical and population geography of Calderdale has militated against Halifax achieving a sizable role as a shopping destination in recent decades, so, I would suggest, the same geographical constraints will be significant for years to come.

With the population of the borough dispersed along the 18 mile (29 kilometre) length of the Calder Valley, people living at its upper and lower ends - in and around Todmorden and Brighouse have convenient alternatives to travelling into the centre for work and or for shopping.

If, and I repeat if, previous generations of borough councillors and officers have in any way over-reached themselves, this is not the time - nor the project - on which those currently in office should compound any such mistakes by repeating them.

Regarding the suggested 68 per cent retail leakage out of the borough, I doubt whether a Primark store would make an appreciable dent in this figure.

And, delays in retail projects in neighbouring towns and cities, most with less challenging physical and population geography, should caution decision makers here against reaching any hasty or rash commitments.

Richard Lister