Old Guild Hall site is ideal

Whitton Gardens! I cannot believe what I am reading in your paper.

I would have thought if the town council have requested the gardens be kept an open space, that should be an end to the matter.

I am one of the district councillors who voted for the demolition of the Old Guild Hall a year ago last February. We were told quite clearly the district council was paying out a considerable sum each year on business rates for the empty building, the building was un-lettable, the concrete roof had come to the end of its life and that the site would be more attractive to future developers if the old building was pulled down. There were development plans in place that had been sent out to possible contractors and to the Secretary of State for permission to flatten the building. It seemed straight forward.

The brief and plans were fine. My only criticism was that they could have been more ambitious. There was absolutely no mention of building on Whitton Gardens then or even six months later.

Gainsborough definitely needs a hotel and I would have thought the Old Guild Hall site would have been ideal. That is why I voted to demolish it, for something worthwhile to be put in its place. The ground floor and first floor could be kitted out with shops, restaurants and function rooms, the hotel could be located on the second floor and above and the top floor could house a bar, café and restaurant similar to the Hilton Doubletree in Lincoln.

I cannot understand the motivations as to why the district council should want to persist with a bed only hotel on Whitton Gardens. It is Gainsborough’s only piece of open river front and should be treasured: or why the district council should wish to sell the land at Whitton Gardens for a song when a smaller site nearby is on the market for three times as much.

What really surprises me is that WLDC should think a footfall count could decide the matter.

Who will make the decision, who will decide that if say 90 people use the gardens on a Sunday the hotel will be built but if 91 do the gardens will be saved.

Please open up the whole debate, and let’s see some ideas on the table for Gainsborough to re-brand itself and create a prosperous future for the next half century. Didn’t Mrs Gill promise a full consultation in your paper nearly one year ago?

My full support goes to the town council. Well done.

Christopher Darcel

WLDC Councillor for Fiskerton and Langworth