Retain library and get store!

Further to the Courier headline “The great divide” (June 23) about the Northgate House/Central Library/Broad Street saga, I would like to make a few comments and observations.

To put the record straight, I am all for having a new Primark in Halifax. The belief in a ‘great divide’ is, I believe, bogus and has been created by people or persons unknown. There is no reason to have existing good quality buildings demolished and replaced by a building of unknown quality. The fact is, with a bit of good planning and goodwill, we could retain the Central Library and Northgate House on their present site and gain a Primark.

It seems to me the ideal place for a new Primark is in the Broad Street Plaza. In such a position it would give people a good reason to cross what is still a dangerous road, a re-sited library and council office would not be such a draw. The problem of the dangerous access across Broad Street seems not to be have been considered yet. It seems the council is, again, being bulldozed by a developer.

The people have already indicated that they want to retain the Central Library on its present site. The people have indicated their desire for an ice-rink in the Broad Street Plaza but it seems we will be lumbered with a duplicate bowling alley which in all probability will fail and will take trade from the existing facility and close both. People have expressed a desire to retain Copley Valley free from another boring over priced housing development. Quite a few people want to retain Northgate House, and cannot see where £15,000,000 is needed to carry out what should have been maintenance carried out over the years.

I fear that in every one of the above mentioned items the people will be ignored and Halifax will lose out in what could still be a great opportunity for the town.

The council seems to be obsessed with the Northgate area without apparently considering it as merely a part of the town.

I understand the Woolshops is successful because people move through it to Marks & Spencer and the town just as people would move through the town to a Primark in the new Plaza.

The Piece Hall still needs to have a opening made at the bottom side to Square Chapel and the railway station. Also reduction in rents and make some effort to revive the Thursday, Friday and Saturday markets there!

The soon to be closed Job Centre Plus in St James’ Road could, with benefit, be turned into quality retail facilities to create movement through that part of town.

I also understand that movement through a town can be beneficial.

As recently suggested many more shops could open on a Sunday, which would benefit Halifax which at present is an uninspiring day to come into the town.

Graham Rigby

Jubilee Road