Tuesday, 27 January 2015
THESE are challenging times for Axminster, and it is no wonder that an air of gloom has descended over the town yet again.
Having had to deal with the threat to the library and uncertainty over the future of the hospital, the town now learns that the long-awaited demolition of Webster’s Garage, an eyesore that has blighted the town for 30 years, is now not going to take place in a hurry.
It is a pity Property developers, Hallmark Estate (Devon Limited), had not come clean about their inability to fund the demolition costs to make way for a temporary car park, before the mural was taken down.
Those of us who contributed generously to the painting of the mural in an attempt to tidy up the sight might have thought our money was being well spent after all. Now we are not sure.
Hallmark say they have already invested well over a million pounds in the site and we can only hope that their positive expectations that they will be successful on attracting grant aid will bear fruit - quickly.
It is fairly obvious that it will be a long time before the site will be developed as a shopping and town centre housing scheme - if indeed that plan is still on the cards - so the sooner the old garage is demolished and the area tidied up the better it will be for Axminster’s main shopping area.
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FURTHER disparaging comments are heaped on the town in that the collapsed wall opposite the Guildhall, damaged by a falling tree in last year’s gale, has still not been repaired.
EDDC say they are waiting for funding for wider improvements but the work will start soon. Hurrah!
They point out that coastal damage caused in the storms has taken priority - and there was me thinking the inland towns paid the same council tax so should expect the same standard of service. Silly me!
But some good news to finish. Well done to Axminster Mayor Jeremy Walden for getting the forecourt to the town’s most important building looking like a proper Guildhall.