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Martin Goss Speaks Out About Colchester Cultural Quarter

A senior Lib Dem has made interesting comments about the continued criticism by locals of plans for Colchester’s new ‘cultural quarter’.

Addressing his letter to the Daily Gazette, Martin Goss attacked the alleged “misinformation” being touted by “clueless far left Labour-Corbyn activists”.

The dispute has erupted over the planned construction of more than 300 student flats and the concerns over plans put forward to replace the bus station near Queen Street, Colchester.

Mr Goss had this to say, “It’s time to set straight the misinformation being peddled by some clueless far left Labour Corbyn activists about the proposed Alumno project next [to] the Curzon cinema and Firstsite.”

He continued, “Firstly, housing of some kind has always been planned for the area as far back as 2007. This first fact has, of course, been overlooked by the far left labour lot, therefore the original auspices of the application have not changed!”

“Secondly the application includes performing arts space, space for community use which will be available at a peppercorn rent and other space which will be available for related businesses and initiatives.”

“The media and left Labour lot appear to have got fixated on the student accommodation and forgotten to look at the other assets available as part of the scheme.”

The Development

The student flats are part of a plan to help the University of Essex meet the residential needs of future students. The university is expected to expand from 15,000 to 20,000 students over the coming years and this new development, combined with third-party development on behalf of the university should begin to meet demand.

The application also includes a hotel, which again, is intended to meet the deficit of hotel space in the town. Bringing in more students will inevitably require more hotel rooms, especially during graduation season.

Martin Goss Continued

Goss’s letter goes on to say, “Clearly they are signed up to the economics of ‘magic money trees’ and think it will simply self-fund via the taxpayer. I need not remind people of the earlier controversies of Firstsite funding and how much the taxpayer had to dig in!”

“I’m afraid private investment is required and if you check, Alumno is in fact owned by a large social housing provider – another fact the loony left appear to have forgotten to check.”

The senior council figure finishes, “In a recent meeting with the new Priory Walk owners they are happy to look at significant investment in the shopping precinct but they won’t do that unless we get on and regenerate the site… If this scheme is thrown out, the land will lay in this state for a further decade.”

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