"But Aberystwyth needs a development. What's the point of having all these new houses (in the town), along with a new assembly government building, if the town has no heart?"

This is what Meirion Jones, the developer behind Aberystwyth's highly controversial shopping centre plans, says about Aberystwyth.

But, as I see it, he's missing the point. Aberystwyth just isn't the place for a shopping centre anywhere near like those in the plans which would see numerous smaller, independent shops consumed by the development.

In a way it's good to see that the former Woolworths site has already been taken over by Poundland. Despite being a competitor of mine, their shop was a major chunk of the shopping centre plans thereby reducing the space available.

Aberystwyth already has a heart. It's a heart that's made up of the mix of multiples (high street chain stores) and smaller, independent shops that Aber strives on. By pushing out and destroying the indies, you're taking the local lifeblood out of the town, turning it in to yet another clone town.

If the developers think they can build a new retail 'opportunity' as they call it in Aber town, then fine, go ahead. But under no circumstances should it be at the detriment of the family run, local independents that trade in the town.

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