The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Discussion Group

Debate 11B What additional facilities and activities (max 6) would you like to see in the New Milton area to save travelling to other towns?

Please let me have your answers by Friday following which I will add them to my website and circulate summaries of your feedback next Wednesday.

Comments/Views

1.Good facilities already but a Marks and Spencer would be good but unlikely.

2. New Milton could benefit from:

a greengrocer,
hardware shop,
English restaurant (open all day and evening - a Wetherspoons will do) and
an automatic car wash.

3. New Milton could benefit from a ‘talking’ café, where young, vulnerable people, or those unable to work, could meet and socialise.

4. A cinema.

A pub serving good food at reasonable prices for a lunch out whilst shopping!

5. As New Milton faces competition from other towns, one thing it could do is to try to attract new businesses, thus offering new facilities and activities to the town.

This comes at a time:

- when there are few medium to large premises available in the town centre that might make a difference, e.g.a Waitrose or M & S Foods

- when we are faced with a recession and businesses will be reluctant to invest and

- people may be nervous about going back to the shops etc like they used to do.

The town dies when the shops close. There are evening activities at long-standing venues (including Forest Arts, Adult Education at Fusee House, Memorial Hall, Conservative Club and Community Centre and some takeaways, pubs and restaurants). Some leading chains of pubs and restaurants would be welcome.

The great white hope is to be found in the Neighbourhood Plan with a new Bradbeers store and expansion of the Memorial Centre site into a hub bringing some facilities and actvities nearer to the High Street

Other than that, apart from the opening of an Aldi store and a crematorium there is nothing new on the horizon!

This being the case businesses and their representatives should concentrate on making the most/more of what we have got already. There are sales & marketing experts who might be able to help but some suggestions like late-night and Sunday opening might fall on deaf ears.

6-7. Shop like Wickes and good clothes shop

8. As the existing shops are going to struggle to survive, we must all support them as much as we can.

Internet shopping has increased, home cooking/baking and entertainment could become the new norm.

We’ve all proved we don’t need new clothes/

It will take a brave investor to open a new retail shop but a nice restaurant would be lovely.

9. In my opinion, the town already has one of the most active support groups, putting on many activities throughout the year.

If you wish you could be busy all day every day.

There could be more for the young people, I think they are under represented, maybe more vibrant youth club?

Review of Week

Neighbourhood Plan

The introduction of actions proposed in the Neighbourhood Plan are extremely important to New Milton (but see Stop Press below).

One can only hope that the three main elements go ahead:

1. A new Aldi store though not good news for the High Street

2. A hub to be created on the Memorial Centre site

3. The development of the old Co-Op site by Bradbeers.

We all had the opportunity to provide inpout to the Plan.

Debate 11B

As far as the question is concerned, a number of people wished that M& S Foods had come to New Milton as it appears they planned to do at one stage.

The Stop Press was a bolt out of the blue!

STOP PRESS

“Aldi set to lose store bid
- Councillors urged to reject plan in favour of town centre location.”

Per New Milton Advertiser & Lymington Times, Friday 22 May

My summary

The Town Council think that the out-of-town site near Tesco is acceptable.

New Forest District Council (NFDC) though have indicated that there are grounds for refusal.

Bradbeer’s want to develop the old Co-op site, which they own, as a retail unit and feel it would be preferable to the Caird Avenue site.

They have pointed out that the Neighbourhood Plan is currently only a draft (so what has happened to their grandiose plan for a new Bradbeer’s store – not a good time to invest?).

Aldi had rejected the Station Road site, previously.

The matter was to be considered by NFDC on 27 May, Wednesday morning, and the proceedings could be viewed on NFDC’s YouTube channel.

Colin Bower
23 May 2020

Link to Debates Index:

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