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Your letters on developments planned for town

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At least cash wasn’t turned down hereA donation of £6million by inventor James Dyson to the state primary school close by his HQ in Wiltshire finally took another half-step forward this week.Unfortunately, it demonstrates too clearly the difficulties encountered in trying to get the simplest things done – like financially supporting a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) centre for our young children.Luckily there were no such problems here in Norfolk last autumn for Gresham’s in Holt. Amazingly, the proposed donation in Wiltshire was resisted by the county council but now the government’s education secretary Gillian Keegan has approved it although it remains subject to planning consent being granted in due course.So a green light is still awaited which must be frustrating for Mr Dyson and confirms the views I expressed in my letter which you kindly published last November.Another story which could so easily be good news one if politicians and others could refrain from arguing against every suggestion.Bryan BrunswickNorth ElmhamImagine a new station and a hospital in a new locationI would like to draw readers’ attention to the consideration now being given to the possibility of a new railway station to the south of Lynn (Hardwick). The business case for this needs to be further developed but essentially it would reduce congestion in Lynn, and would increase the attractiveness of the West Winch growth area and its planned 4,000 new homes and infrastructure, and provide out-of-town car parking to allow easy access to the delights of Lynn.Such an idea, exploration of which has commenced, will need to be sensibly costed – opponents tried to suggest that the cost would be in excess of £80,000,000 – although the most recent new railway stop in the UK, Bristol’s Portway park and ride cost £5.8m, of which £3million was funded by the West of England Combined Mayoral Authority (aren’t we getting one of these shortly?).I would like to link this to the dire situation regarding the bumbling plans by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Trust to rebuild on its cramped site. The possibility of a new station should be considered in the same breath as proposals to rebuild the Lynn hospital, a decision taken away from public scrutiny and without any coherent reference to viable future proof alternatives.There are many reasons to require full consultation and scrutiny of this strange decision to seek to use taxpayers’ money to rebuild our hospital on its existing site (well at least it would be near to the £42m multi-storey car park they have planning permission for).I have tried to bring these to the attention of local political leaders as I believe that by seeking to use the existing site, we in West Norfolk will get a second-best solution that will take longer to build, be more expensive, be incredibly disruptive and ignore the wider interest of our community.Worse, to the extent the Trust cannot demonstrate value for money, there is a high probability that their plan will fail to gain detailed approval, and that will mean further considerable delays in this project, and the justifiable severing of heads of senior executive, who have consistently refused to discuss their proposals or consult.But imagine a railway station to the south of Lynn integrated with a sensibly relocated hospital on Constitution Hill. A bit joined up for Norfolk maybe but what a great dream.Cllr Tom Ryvesvia emailHave they thought about eco-footprint?The revamping of Baxter’s Plain in Lynn may not be plain sailing. At the Regeneration and Development panel councillors raised a number of issues. Cost, type of planting, trees and the former post office building were all discussed.Two councillors raised the issue of the empty post office building. Planning permission was given in 2022 to make the ground floor into a wine bar and café and convert the other two floors into flats. Two years on, work has not started and permission will expire in January 2025. Has anyone contacted the developer about the delay? Arguably, the future of this imposing building needs to be sorted out before the redevelopment. Another concern is the choice of plants – some chosen are highly toxic. Three councillors are concerned about the loss of a well-established tree. Questions were not asked about what kind of tree it is, how long it’s been there and how long it could live for. If the answer is for several more years, Cllr Spiking should be listened to. She argued that the tree should be kept.The plan does promise that more trees will be planted but it would be many years before newly planted trees deliver the same benefits.The reason the tree is to be sacrificed is to make a space for small events.If Hunstanton is anything to go by, the space may not be used very much. According to Cllr Beale a similar space at Hunstanton was used only twice in 2023.The real elephant in the room is the carbon footprint. The financial cost is about £2.5million but there was no mention of the amount of carbon that the revamp would generate. Environmental costs should be a deal breaker. Have they even been calculated?Jenny Walkervia emailAre our MPs determined to destroy the UK?One could not make it up, the United Kingdom still exists in a perilous state for many reasons yet Sunak and Starmer continue to throw their dollies out of the pram during PM’s Question Time.These actions by two supposedly grown men sniping at each other makes one wonder if any of the current MPs are fit to govern. It’s not a political debate, it’s just pure bitterness on both sides.When the PM’s own ministers openly shout him down in public instead of giving him their support, what chance has the Conservative Party of winning the general election, whenever that might be?The word ‘loyalty’ does not exist in politics as was seen when Sunak and Co stabbed Johnson in the back for their own devious ends.Why is it that some of the men and women that we, the public, voted in as MPs to look after our interests seem determined to destroy the United Kingdom?Continually trying to destroy their own members in public across the dispatch box during debate does none of them any favours.Should Sunak buckle and decide to resign, a Conservative win in a general election is as good as lost.I don’t think that many of us would accept a third non-elected prime minister following the resignation of Truss and her disastrous short time as PM should Sunak, also non-elected, go down that same road.I’ve had my battles with Steve Mackinder on a number of occasions on the letters page, but when I read his letters as regards politics in the UK, I agree with him one hundred per cent. He is a very perceptive observer when it comes to the current (terrible) state of the nation.Alan MudgePentneyl



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