New lamps for old...

There is an interesting development in the long-running saga billed as “the regeneration of South Molton”.

The district council is pushing a bizarre deal to swap a strategic part of South Molton and the town council is not happy about it.

The proposal reminds me of the Arabian folk tale of Aladdin, in which an evil sorcerer tries to secure untold riches by swapping a new lamp for Aladdin’s old one.

Our local sorcerers have put a contemporary twist on the tale by seeking to swap the centre of South Molton’s car park for some derelict industrial land belonging to Tesco to secure millions of pounds from the supermarket giant.

South Molton Town Council is unimpressed by this ploy and has written to the district council asking to be consulted about the proposed swap before any agreements are signed.

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It will give Tesco a prime location for its proposed supermarket, which sacrifices the existing car park and, in my opinion, puts the survival of the livestock market at great risk.

Recently, less vital issues have triggered consultation elsewhere within North Devon District Council’s boundaries.

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Surely “regeneration” should be in the interests of and with the agreement of the recipients, not just imposed from above.

Sadly the record shows that the district council has ignored previous representations from South Molton on the town’s future. If “localism” means anything at all, the district council must involve South Molton in this decision.

Tony Martin

South Molton

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