The area involved is cleared illustrated in my aerial photograph as the green area to the right of the train (click the photo to expand it) and it looks to be around 10 metres wide at best.
This is of course a central part of the Westgate conservation area and a development of this nature would make a fundamental change to the look and feel of the town. While I accept that this tiny strip of land wedged between the public toilets and the garden centre could be tidier, I'm reluctant to see yet one more precedent set for quick construction on such a small plot and I'm equally surprised to read of a perceived need for office space as we plunge into the deepest recession since before the last War.
Listening to the views of residents and other ward councillors I have now referred the matter to the planning committee for debate. The application is F/TH/08/1393 should local residents wish to express their own views on the subject.
Update - 19th December
I met with Mr Ellis this morning and we discussed the proposed development while I had the benefit of looking at the plans. He stressed that the proposal involves retail space rather than office space but that there is no distinction made between the two uses when submitting an application.
In principle, I have no objection to a new development of an unsightly space beside the railway, which is sympathetic to the traditional covered look and feel of Station Road and which adds more shopping space and choice to Westgate but if any residents wish to express an opinion please email or write to me directly or let Cllr King or Cllr Goodwin know.