How is THIS Better ??!

Meeting Point Rest Area, Littleborough

A while ago, I blogged about a fantastic little coffee stop that some enterprising guy had erected on a piece of crappy land alongside my beloved Rochdale Canal.

The last time I had a brew there, the chap was telling me about having to take a case to a planning tribunal, since somebody had complained about his portakabin not being in keeping with the local architectural specifications required for planning approval in that part of Littleborough.

Well, Guess What? The Moaning Buggers Won Again!

What is it with these Daily Mail reading, interfering idiots?  I’m all in favour of pretty towns and villages, but can someone explain how the first picture below is an improvement on the second?

Note how the sign says “Yard To Let“.  So… thanks to the complaints of one or more people who would like to maintain the architectural splendour of Littleborough, an amenity for walkers, cyclists, kayakers and passers by has been shut down.  It will, at some point, be replaced by a yard.  Until then, it stands as a piece of wasteland protected by fences and containing a few piles of rocks, discarded pallets and (for now) a fork lift truck.

That’s progress, that is. Sheesh. Idiots.  I hope they’re proud of what they’ve done.

Now I don’t have an incentive to get my 9 year-old stepdaughter on her bike, because the pull from this “Yard” up to Hollingworth Lake is hard work for her.  A milkshake and a cookie from The Meeting Point was fantastic for her to recharge her batteries and break up the ride.  Now she’s not interested.

I know that me with my 3 kids and other half are just one family.  But we’re one family who have been negatively affected by these interfering, unhelpful people.  What have they gained?  I wouldn’t be so angry if there had been an improvement.

What Should Have Happened?

If the Meeting Point Rest Area was too ugly (which I dispute but I’ll let that go), then the owner should have been given a timescale to install a more permanent, more attractive Rest Area on the site.  The “sledgehammer to crack a nut” approach that’s been used has created an ugly residue where once there was a potentially thriving little enterprise…

… and some happy canal users.

I hope these people regret what they’ve done.  If you’re one of them, why not explain how you’ve benefited the local area? Please?

Share this page:

15 comments on “How is THIS Better ??!

  1. PhilR

    Nothing much more to say than 🙁 That now looks crap and is sad to see a little bit of enterprise shot down by interfering busybodies.

  2. Phill

    Yes, I’m quite angry about it. I wonder if someone would be allowed to park a burger van there…?

    Such a shame, the buggers.

  3. Dad Who Writes

    Idiots! Cafes like that a crucial part of the diplomacy/blackmail required to drag our two any distance into the outdoors. The Daily Mail mentality never ceases to amaze me – on the one hand “Oi, hands off, Big Government” and on the other, “Oi, disgraceful – someone should do something about this – there are rules, you know…”

  4. Phill

    Idiots. Yes, idiots is what they are. Shaking their sticks crazily at anything that looks like fun. The place was tucked away, completely self-contained and with no effect whatsoever on the surrounding environs… apart from a few smiling people with kids, ice creams and brews. Idiots.

  5. Gordon

    I can’t comment on the area where the cafe was and whether it was in keeping or not as I have never been there but the former pic certainly looked better than the latter and based on comments it was discrete and also much used and appreciated. If the owner has been forced to move on and close then it really gets my goat; when someone has got off their arse and made an effort to provide something and support themselves by generating their own income why can’t we help and encourage them?! If it is not exactly what NIMBY’s wanted to see then why not work with the person and help to make it something in keeping (if it was not already) that ticks the required boxes. I love quirky little stops that provide an affordable and needed brew stop they are what make days out. Rant over.

  6. Anon

    I asked someone at work about this last year when they first opened up and we’d been chatting to the owners about the problems they’d been having. The person at work is a resident of Littleborough. Now I either wasn’t listening properly (cos I was supposed to be working) or I couldn’t hear properly (open plan office, always someone evesdropping on non-work conversations, basically because they’re more interesting)but anyway I may have this wrong but she said its not so much that people object to what they were trying to do or that they thought it didn’t fit in with the area but other proposals had been put forward for that land in the past, I think one of which was a much needed Health Centre and everything is always refused on planning grounds that the land isn’t suitable. Suddenly someone is allowed to plonk an ‘unsightly’ portakabin there and that’s perfectly OK. So I think it was not so much that residents didn’t want a cafe there but rather that they were a bit put out that after being refused other, what they perceived to be more worthwhile projects, someone could open a cafe. The question on their lips was “why was this allowed, but other things weren’t”. Like I say, I may have it wrong.

  7. Phill

    Thanks for this, it’s interesting reading.
    I can see how having good projects refused might be frustrating, but if this is true, it does seem like cutting the town’s nose off to spite its face.
    To my mind that location is wholly unsuitable for a Health Centre or similar, as there’s no room for a large(ish) amenity and parking there.
    A small, single storey cafe, on the other hand, would be unobtrusive and the one that was there (that this blog post is about) certainly wasn’t unsightly. The guy had taken a genuine pride in how the place looked: hanging baskets, pretty umbrellas, somewhere for dogs to drink… lots of things were considered apart from selling brews, butties and ice creams.
    Now, what’s left is the original eyesore, but worse. People may have meant well, but it’s a sad end to a hopeful attempt by someone to improve the area and make a few honest pounds in the process. I feel sorry for the bloke, and I feel sorry for my kids, and I feel sorry for Littleborough.

    The people got it wrong this time, in my opinion.

  8. Anon

    I totally agree with you. And I think that was the reason given for refusal of planning permission for other things, that the area was too small for anything of significant size. I thought it was pretty too and an ideal place to stop for a rest as there’s no facilities of any kind once you carry on from there to Tod.

  9. Robin Crampton

    Totally agree with your comments Phill. The world is full of interfering busy bodies who take great pleasure in applying the letter of the law, even when the law is an ass! They usually work for town planning, or the council. As for the view, it looks like a very nice Portakabin to me. Making them has given me a very good living for the last 28 years. Personally I think every street should have one. So Phill it wont do your blood presure any good, calm calm, calm calm.

  10. Matt

    Sadly the days of NIMBYism have gone. We now have Ban Everything Anywhere Near Anyone. I cant and wont get on my high horse here, its not appopriate, but needless to say I think it is wrong, not just in this case but all round the place small businesses etc are being forced to close putting people out of work, potentially putting them onto the benifits roundabout and then the people (often) that moan about the businesses in the first place are then the ones moaning about people being on the dole.

    I shall stop now, or it could appear Im a ranting fool!

  11. Martin

    Its people sticking their nose in as they have nothing better to do! Oh and isnt your saddle bag obscuring the light 😉

  12. Phill

    Matt, you’re ranting, but you’re no fool! I wonder if the acronym BEANA will catch on?
    Clive, thanks for the sympathy. I can picture you quietly chunnering to yourself!
    Martin, The light was ok from most angles but not perfect: I have bought a new light since that one fell off one evening riding home along the towpath from that lovely Rest Area that the Daily Mail readers shut down. I got beeped at once or twice in the past, until I put another light on my helmet. The the new main rear light is much more visible, thanks.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Where is your business growing to?

Find out how Phill Connell Marketing Solutions can accelerate your business growth. Practical, realistic steps to improve your revenue generation.

%d bloggers like this: