Don’t sell council HQ to supermarket giant

I READ today (Derbyshire Times, May 12) with utter amazement that Bolsover Council is pondering a big money offer to redevelop the council offices sites. As the owner of one of the businesses in Bolsover I am horrified at the idea.

Who is so delusional as to think that a supermarket so close to the town centre would be beneficial? Well, Bolsover District Councillor Keith Bowman, for one, quoted in your report thinks Bolsover will become ‘the Bakewell of North East Derbyshire’. Not going to happen with this ludicrous idea. Let’s look at the fine examples of what the likes of Tesco and Morrisons have done for town centres; Alfreton, Clay Cross, and Clowne to name a few are ruled by these organisations and are not a patch on the centres they once were.

There are very few independent shops surviving around them.

These decision makers are the same people who want to turn Bolsover’s only public conveniences into a retail unit. (Bakewell has public toilets, by the way).

Bakewell has many, many independent and multiple retail units surviving side by side, but does not have a huge supermarket development hindering its traders. What it does have is a superb market and traders who open their shops on a reliable daily basis, unlike some in our town who shut all day on a Monday, and close at lunchtime on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Who would want to take a shopping trip to Bolsover when it’s practically shut for half the week?

And what about the council building itself? Used since 1990 is hardly old. It is supposed to be an efficient modern office environment, yet now someone decides that with the potential £ signs coming along that it suddenly isn’t viable. Relocate to where? How much the building costs? How much of that would the interested supermarket be funding it for? And all this fuss and for what? To destroy a town centre when there are thousands of acres of prime unused land less than two miles down the road.

TIM LEVERS

Bolsover