Wednesday, 23 January 2008

West Kirby Hotel?

Do we want a huge hotel complex built on the West Kirby waterfront?

One of the things I like best about living in West Kirby is its tranquil village atmosphere. Chester, Birkenhead and Liverpool and close enough should broader shopping or theatres or similar be required. But here we have a precious haven from that faster pace of life. That’s how locals like it. That’s why people come to live here.

Some teenagers might grumble that there’s nothing much for them to do, and certainly the traffic can be surprisingly heavy for a small place. But the beaches, woodlands and parks easily balance this out, and our low crime rate is another attraction for many residents, who often heave a sigh of relief when the main tourist season is over and we can have “our” village and beach back again.

Local shops no doubt benefit from the influx of summer visitors, but this hotel is to have a shopping complex built on its ground floor. This will bring more competition to the already struggling local traders.

And where are all the shoppers to come from? Walk around West Kirby on weekdays, or even weekends out of season, and it can resemble a ghost town. (This is ok by me, as I rather like ghosts!)

The proposed building will also have a conference centre. Why? Aren’t there enough of those already in the nearby cities?

Village roads are already clogged with traffic, especially at weekends and in summer. Surely this hotel and shopping complex will only increase the problem, as well as adding to the litter which tourists all too frequently leave strewn behind them.

Consider, also, the protected natural habitats, which will come under extra train due to an influx of visitors.

So often, developers see a lovely area and recognise its potential. But in developing that area they also change it forever, and not necessarily for the better.  Can’t we keep West Kirby as the quiet village that it is?

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