Sittingbourne in 2003 was a town that has long been maligned for crime and lack of ability to attract people to the town. Add to that a dying high street.
Fast forward 15 years. The town is embarking on a regeneration that will see a new cinema, retail units and restaurants built.
So all is well? You couldn’t be more wrong. For all the moaning about the state of the town more people are far from happy about the effects of the operation.
I’m sorry to say that any residents complaining should probably consider the alternatives before they do that.
The question is would you rather have four months of traffic, the predicted time it will take, or a town that moves with the times. I know which option I’d take.
The plans are part of a much wider issue than traffic, Sittingbourne’ dying shops. The regeneration will bring vital business to the town.
As Sittingbourne.Me founder Andy Hudson points out: “Things will get worse before they get better, but there is no avoiding the traffic and parking if you want to rejuvenate the town.
“People have a right to complain because it is there money paying for it, but the town has so much potential and in the long term it will benefit.”
And there is the problem. Residents are too short sighted to see that in the future the four months of traffic will be worth it.
I believe that the town has so much potential, but to bring that out will require patience. The final phase could be completed by 2020.
Not only will there be more business, there will be more jobs, more attractions bringing outsiders to the town, something that is unheard of.
It is easy for people to think about the here and now but with a project like this you need to think of the future and the benefits.
As someone who has lived here for many years, not being able to park near my house or spending an extra five minutes in traffic is a small price to pay for what is to come.