I’m relieved that Mr Young does not share the manic optimism of Mr Bluh when talking about plans for Swindon town centre. Even so, it’s difficult to feel anything but weary when the subject of redeveloping the site occupied — still — by the old college building gets a mention.
We have been there before on the college site. It’s cautious optimism at the moment. For the first time in a long time there is cause for optimism. It’s a case of the last points for negotiation.
We want quality for our town centre. We’re not just just going to sign away that quality just to get things moving in the recession. The breakthrough came about a month or two ago and they have gone away to do more detailed work.
So that’s why the town centre has so many vacant and derelict sites is it? They’re just ‘waiting for quality’. Recent experience suggests they’re proabably waiting for yet another hotel proposal.
Let’s not forget that when Swindon town centre was redeveloped in the late 1960s and early 1970s, that was regarded as a ‘quality’ development. We can only hope that the current generation of councillors are better at seeing through the developers’ fantasies than their predecessors were.