Opus fails to lift spirits

Kevin Whitmore from Opus North with the  Frontierland Plans at the  Public Open Day.
Kevin Whitmore from Opus North with the Frontierland Plans at the Public Open Day.
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Not everyone is super-enthusiastic about Opus North’s plans for the central prom. It’s not just the Arndale and the canal Corridor people. A number of writers to Letters haven’t been impressed, and Wayne Hemingway suggests that the design isn’t good enough (October 28).

From the artist’s impression (Visitor, October 7) the development looks to be a drab set of buildings, mostly shops, around a car park. Is this what people expect in a resort? Something like the shopping centre in their home town?

It doesn’t seem interesting architecturally, like the Broadway was and other buildings are; or characterful like the Ranch House, which is to go in spite of its popularity.

That Morecambe Council is in favour isn’t entirely a recommendation. They’ve lost the Tutti Frutti and haven’t managed to get the owners to clean up that urine-smelling arcade about which so many writers to Letters complain.

Why does there have to be so much retail?

Coun Hanson said, in connection with the Visitor SOS campaign, that she didn’t see Morecambe as a large retail area, more a place for individual, speciality shops.

This way of shopping may be having a comeback, like the interest in vintage. There could be enough big retail already.

Major supermarkets are contending with discount superstores, online shopping and the recession making people more frugal.

Fashion stores could be next, so perhaps big retail should be left to Lancaster and 50,000 sq ft of Primark.

Lancaster has 2,000 years of urban living, Morecambe is different, it’s coastal, on a beautiful bay. Couldn’t the town have even just one attraction, appropriate to its location, inspiring and visionary?

What was wrong with Ian Hughes’ plan for a pier, marina and heritage centre, recently mentioned by David Brayshaw? Carnforth is to have a marina, it already has a heritage centre, no prizes for suggesting why.

Piers make seaside resorts, people love going on them. To suggest that building a pier is not feasible means that the wrong people have been asked. An engineering company somewhere would relish the challenge.

And why hasn’t a town the size of Morecambe, with an interesting history to explain, got a heritage centre?

There is the bay to interpret too. In the whole extend of Morecambe Bay from Fleetwood to Barrow, there is no interpretation centre. Yet all that is suggested to regenerate Morecambe are shops, a hotel and a pub.

The Arndale owners have a point. They’ve battled with the town centre environment for 42 years, to be confronted with another town centre a goodish walk away. At least the Arndale is under cover.

What they need to do (if they haven’t already) is to consult with whoever is responsible for New Town Square and get that dreadful wedge removed during the renovations.

What should be a colourful and relaxing town space and a pleasant walk through into the Arndale isn’t.

What should be an inviting view from Euston Road isn’t.

Of course, at the junction of Central Drive and Euston Road there is such a clutter of road signs that it is impossible to see anything else.

The exceptionally uninviting Pedder Street car park could also be looked at. Good news that it is to be resurfaced, but there are no signposts or pictorial map showing where to go. Is it a scientifically proven fact that no visitors ever use this car park?

Mrs Judith Thompson

Witherslack Close