Your views: Letter to the editor

Dear Sir,

Regarding your article about the Ellon Community Council backing out of town development of retail facilities for the town. I share their frustration at the lack of progress in revitalising the town centre but fear their solution is misguided. The curious mix of council offices and retail units in Neil Ross Square and Station Road indicates a scattergun approach to planning in the past which has diluted the impact of retailing in the town centre. We are in danger of following a similar approach with further dilution if the out of town development proposal is adopted- just when we are on the brink of the release of prime council owned property when the Academy is relocated. The future development of the Academy sites provides an opportunity for enhancing both economic development of the centre and a relocation of council facilities in a coherent fashion. The Scottish policy of developing town centres in preference to out of town parks has a logic that ensures that the heart of communities is preserved - to depart from this logic is to invite dereliction of this exceedingly pleasant town. The new Aldi store will go some way into re-establishing the traditional town centre and the impetus for change should be maintained along the same direction. Ellon already has a first class Butcher in Costcutter ,a world class Ythan Bakery and, although we no longer have a Candlestick maker, it does have a nucleus of retailers that could make for a very attractive shopping location with the right application of will and planning. What is needed is a consistent, coherent, and clear planning policy - not confusion. Bill Kelly, Ythan Terrace, Ellon.