I'VE been reading with interest (and more than a little apprehension) about the council's plans for redevelopment of the town.

Our real goal should be to attract more shops to the town. We all know how difficult this is and Andover is not alone in having empty shops.

I can't understand how so many retail spaces have remained empty for years when a reduction in rent could attract businesses. Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay. With so many units empty, they must be overpriced in the modern world.

Would an idea be to make a list of retailers we would like to attract (M&S, Crew, Moshulu, Primark, Sea Salt, White Stuff), offering them free rent and rates for 'x' months, in exchange for a three-year term?  The council could fund this from their budget, which I estimate would cost FAR less than the £8m I've been reading.

It would also create jobs and keep money in Andover, rather than being spent online and in other towns (Basingstoke, Salisbury and Winchester).

Councillors and the like always crave a legacy and getting them to change tack is nigh-on impossible. Projects such as the development always run wildly over budget and are delivered late.

Their legacy could be to divert some of these funds to a new secondary school and a doctor's surgery. The town population has exploded in the past 15 years, yet none of our complimentary amenities have been developed. Some secondary schools are at maximum capacity and it's over a month to wait for a doctor's appointment. 

Andrew Taylor 

Newcomb Close,


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