Re: The over 55s village.
The vitality of a town centre is created essentially by the interaction of people: in malls, shops, streets and gardens: doing business, greeting friends, sitting around, chance meetings.
For this to happen, distances need to be walkable and the public places seen as pleasant to be in. If you live in town, it also helps if you can walk or ride a bike to the centre.
Pushing residences further and further out whether in a traditional subdivision or “village” works against this, obliging residents to drive, increasing traffic congestion and putting pressure on the capacity of existing car parks which in turn tends to spread out the services so that people tend to drive even between one part of the centre and another.
A rich social fabric is also created by the mixing of the generations within the community at large.
The proposed village may create what amounts to a gated community somewhat suspicious of and uninterested in the world outside.
Investors naturally wish for the highest return on their investment. But that doesn’t necessarily equal the best outcome for everyone else. That is why council and the council officers need time to consider the best approach to fulfil the needs of all who live in the shire now and into the future.
Richard Kentwell, South Dudley.