Letters, Friday, November 16, 2013

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Time right to start building for future

IT was good to hear of the long-awaited decision, subject to planning permission, to build properties in the High Ford area of Sunderland.

 Despite arguments by Gentoo at the time that repair costs were prohibitive, I still find it difficult to accept that traditionally-built, brick houses should have been demolished. Nevertheless, the proposed construction of bungalows, houses and flats to rent, is really good news.

 For other parts of that area, it is unlikely that when Gentoo demolished these ex-council houses, a sale to a private builder, as also proposed here, was the anticipated end-result. But after years of open grassland, this development too must be welcomed, especially if the sale prices are kept at a realistic level.

 The Government’s Help-to-Buy Scheme should, hopefully, assist potential house-buyers here, as it has done in other parts of the city.

 For some time now, Gentoo has had a reputation of being a much better and caring landlord than when the properties were in the ownership of Sunderland Council. Having created successful developments at Doxford Park, Carley Hill, Southwick and Washington for example, I feel it is high time it turned its attention to the future of the open land in Pennywell.

 Again the demolition, this time of 1950s-built brick and tiled houses, rather mystified me.

 Personally, I would much rather see houses being built there.

 However, this is a massive open space and if it means giving jobs and prosperity to the city, I wonder if Gentoo, having taken the plunge and decided to sell ex-social housing into private ownership at Ford, should not consider selling this land in Pennywell, or at least some of it, for suitable non-residential/commercial use.

 Unimaginable and highly controversial in the years past, but I am not convinced such an understandable negative response would now be the case. The more favourable figures about employment, inflation and growth suggests that with a continued competent Government running the finances of the country, opportunities will present themselves for both sensible residential and commercial building expansion.

 Continued open grassland in Pennywell should really not be an option if the city wishes to make progress.

 It would be interesting to hear what plans Gentoo has for the land in Pennywell and any response it may wish to give to suggestions made here about its future use.

Michael Dixon

We need Nissan

CHIEF Executive Carlos Ghosn warns that Nissan could quit the UK if we leave the EU – which would have dire consequences for the City of Sunderland.

 Then with wonderful timing, Marjorie Matthews sends us her latest letter (November 9) on her favourite subject – the EU referendum which we may or may not get.

 Now, I thought Tories always listened to what business leaders said. Please understand this, Marje – Sunderland people are not going to vote for any proposition that endangers what little prosperity we have.

 Nissan is the ‘Ghosn that lays the golden egg’.

Henry Whipple,

Washington

Retire poppy pin

REMEMBRANCE Day is over once again.

 I cannot think of many charities so worthy of helping as those brave service people who gave their lives for us.

 However, there is still something which concerns and worries me – the poppies are still sold with pins.

 When I was 15 years old waiting for my Army Enlistment Papers, I worked on a farm.

 I got blisters and burst one with a pin and ended up in hospital, where I was told it was the pin which caused the poison. Last week my coat was falling off the door-hanger. I went to catch it and as I did so, the poppy pin went through my hand in precisely the same place as it did all those years ago.

 It really was a case of history repeating itself.

 Having experienced the pain and consequences of wounds by pins, I would plead to potential inventors to replace the metal pin with a much safer fastener for next year.

 Think of all the parents and grandparents picking up their babies with pins in their lapels.

 It’s time for the metal pin to retire. If the new fastener is to cost a little more, I’m confident the public will increase their contributions to more than match.

Jim Chambers,

Washington