Showing vision for Todmorden would be a shrewd move for us

I APPLAUD and concur with all the views expressed by Saul Caldwell and Kay Chown in the letters pages recently regarding the mixed marina and tourist development.

At last there are people showing some vision for the town. I feel sad for the people who are pro-Sainsbury’s.

What a sorry and limited vision for the future of this town they present, if the best option is to turn it into a supermarket trap, with the encumbent drain to the local economy, loss of jobs and business to the town centre and with no awareness of what is happening in the world and how that could affect us.

Our country imports £50 billion worth of energy annually from countries with unstable governments, via pipelines which traverse other countries, who could turn off the valve at a whim.

The only secure economic future for ourselves, our town and our country, is to invest in businesses that reduce our energy usage, not increase it.

Supermarkets are high energy consumers, they transport food massive distances by plane and road, use energy to store it, package it, then people drive in cars to buy it, to say nothing of high wastage.

Who can guarantee that these high energy consumers will still be around in ten years’ time? Do we really want another derelict site in a few years because the supermarkets have gone bust due to fuel supplies running out?

A marina is there to encourage tourism to the town. It would improve the look of Todmorden, making it more appealing, creating a centre for transport that doesn’t have to be fuel based (horses used to provide the energy and could again if needed), so it is also encouraging sustainable tourism.

If the hotel could be built to Passivhaus standards, it would have minimal energy costs to run it and could be included in the green tourist trail as an example of how we could all reduce our energy bills.

Another objection was that there are already existing marinas in Todmorden. One is for permanent moorings, the other is so unprotected and vulnerable that few visiting barges feel safe parking up there for the night.

Dan Crabtree argued that Sainsbury’s would create more jobs. Yes they would, but at what cost to the present employment in small businesses in town? Local businesses tend to keep the money in the town.

Arguments, also, said the marina wouldn’t create jobs. Won’t there be work in the chandlery, the café and in the hotel? Extra visitors which the marina development would encourage, would bring in more business and jobs to the town centre.

My sources of information indicate that over 7,500 signatures were collected against the supermarket. In a population of less than 20,000, of whom a good proportion will be children (unlikely to be signatories) then that indicates that at least half the adult population, if not more, have already actively shown they are against it.

This site is a fantastic opportunity for us to create a better future for our town and the next generation. Please don’t let us do something that we will regret in 10 years time.

Pam Golden, Todmorden.