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Very ‘Sno’ progress

I AM sure no one is at all surprised that the ‘Snoasis’ development is not on track to be completed anytime soon.

It was December 2017 when Coun David Renard wrote that Swindon is moving forward having at long last signed a deal with Seven Capital to develop the North Star site.

I recall writing that this project has been bedevilled by delays and even now it has to be acknowledged that there is no actual building work going on.

But wait, wasn’t it Coun Keith Williams in 2012 who said of the Oasis deal with a previous developer that Moirai had considerable expertise in developing leisure facilities?

Even though Coun Williams had no doubts the future was bright, there were those who questioned the claim and eight years on I guess the doubters are right and the council is once again left looking less than competent.

In October 2014 Coun Renard stated the reason for the inability of Moirai to undertake the works was financial, citing the developer’s need for time to raise the capital. How amazing that this is the self same argument now being put forward by Seven Capital.

It was only a few days before Christmas that a spokesman for Seven Capital said the developer could be on site and working in February or March this year, with a promise that the facility would be up and running by 2022.

Finally, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the ‘back slapping’ that occurred in 2018 when Coun Renard used his Adver column to thank Councillors Dale Heenan and Garry Perkins for providing the impetus for getting this deal done and through the planning process.

Thanks to their hard work, he said readers could expect to see swift progress on site, with Seven Capital signalling its intention to begin work in the next few months which could see the leisure facilities open for business in just a couple of years.

The reality is that the works have not yet started and the likelihood of a ‘Snoasis’ being available anytime soon is pretty remote – another failed promise.

Des Morgan, Caraway Drive, Swindon

HS2 benefits London

Boris Johnson has just approved the HS2 project. This is very disappointing for the people that voted Tory in the recent general election.

The HS2 project was put under review before the election and many people voted Tory in the hope that it would be cancelled.

London is the only region that will benefit from HS2. It is very unpopular with the rest of the country.

The main issue in Britain is housing. But all the spare money in Britain will now have to be channelled into this unwanted HS2 vanity project.

Steve Halden, Beaufort Green, Swindon

Road spend puzzle

Further to T Reynolds’ letter regarding Swindon Borough Council paying for road improvements on the A419 junction with the M4. (SA, February 21), I understand Highways England is responsible for maintaining and improving major trunk roads.

Certainly this was the case when the Commonhead flyover was constructed some 10 years ago, as that was their project.

If this is so why is SBC paying out £5 million for this work when they can’t even fill the potholes in the roads in Swindon, to say nothing of the many neglected essential projects?

A Wilkinson, Swindon

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