Bigger is not always better

After a decade or two of uncertainty it is good to see the British high street is finding its feet again.

For a long time small market towns have wrestled with the threat of superstores, especially those on town perimeters. Some small trading companies have suffered badly. Closure of bank branches and post offices and transport problems as well as increasing shop rents do not help. March town centre seems to have escaped fairly well but its face has changed. The important thing is that practically all commercial premises are being used.

March is acknowledged by newcomers as a pleasant town, unhurried and long may it remain so. The town has a beautiful natural river, a complimentary riverside and a riverside park, the envy of other towns.

The riverside walks are particularly pleasant and graced with fine old cottages some dating tot he 17th century. This brings me to the question: how large do we want March to be?

Town are expected to increase in size and some develop out of all proportion. This is not necessarily a good idea, many places becoming ruined int he process and the mistaken attitude is that bigger is better. Inevitably crime rate increases and communities become much noisier. There is also too much competition and some businesses close.

I have seen this happen at many towns in East Anglia. March’s situation is fragile having inherited a medieval infrastructure. More and more traffic is see in the town.

Just imagine if March follows the example of Wisbech where it is planned to build an additional 10,000 houses, our town will descend into chaos.

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Currently March has a population of about 21,000. At a maximum it could rise to £25,000 and hopefully no more.

A massive expansion would ruin the town.