First came the news that the Edgar Street Grid development was being put on hold, with a car park temporarily replacing the soon-to-be-demolished cattle market.

Now a top associate with ESG Herefordshire has pulled out of talks saying the project should now be completely scrapped. Commercial agent Jon Turner has also advised his clients to end all talks with ESG Herefordshire and the council.

Are these the first signs that the ESG development is dying a slow death? We very much hope so!

Many similar projects up and down the country are now being shelved because of the recession. Why can’t Herefordshire Council have the same sense with the ESG development?

But the state of the economy is really irrelevant—the people of Hereford don’t want this project to go ahead, recession or no recession.

From the start the Edgar Street Grid was never about bringing real improvements to Hereford; plans for new houses, the restoration of the old canal and talk of a university have all essentially been sweeteners to keep the locals onside. The core of the project is really about retail; selling space to chain stores that will turn our city even more into a clone of every other in the country. If we want big name stores, we’ll go to Birmingham or Cardiff for a day out—some of us quite like the quaintness of our small city just as it is.

However, we’re not blind and we know there’s room for improvements here, but they’re not solved by filling our city with more profit-grabbing multinationals.

And how can Herefordshire Council justify spending millions on more shops that are destined to stay empty when over 5,000 people are on local housing waiting lists?! There is a severe lack of social housing in the county and instead of tackling the problem the council just keep dangling shiny pennies in our face: “look at the Debenhams, look at the Waitrose”. We’re not interested!

No more shops! No more chain stores sucking the life out of our town! No more profit-hungry developers! Death to the Edgar Street Grid!

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