I WRITE in response to knee-jerk response to our Newport Riverside proposals from our political opponents (CP online).

They certainly don’t appear to have read the proposals fully.

It may be helpful if I set out some of the overall objectives:

1. To breathe new life into Newport, with high quality, sustainable development – in keeping with the town’s historic character – making use of surplus buildings and land for a range of uses.

2. To increase footfall for businesses in the town, including retail and hospitality premises and the development of a vibrant night-time economy.

3. To restore The Guildhall to its former glory, making use of it as a new civic centre.

4. To provide fit-for-purpose facilities for public services on the Island – including office and meeting space on a scale which has regard to home-working practices.

5. To deliver much-needed new homes for Islanders, with a range of tenures (including rental properties and starter homes). The council would retain the freehold of the majority of land currently in its ownership.

6. To help protect green spaces elsewhere on the Island from being developed.

7. To have a rejuvenated and busy harbour, bringing more visitors into Newport via the River Medina.

8. To improve sports and community recreation facilities at Seaclose Park, boosting health and wellbeing.

Read more letters sent to the County Press here. Do you have a view on this or any other subject? Send us a letter to editor@iwcp.co.uk

It is no good — as other parties have done — just listing a range of things you would like to see in Newport. We need to be prepared to make substantial changes which act as a catalyst for increasing footfall and the vibrancy of the town.

Residential-led development of the eastern end of the town will help provide a critical mass to support a busy retail core.

We don’t just see this as a vision for Newport – but one for the Island as a whole. All of us can benefit from having a rejuvenated county town with much to offer Islanders and visitors.

Furthermore, it is only by making use of brownfield sites that we can substantially reduce the need for building new houses in the countryside. It is a win-win for the whole community.