It’s not desolate

I SUGGEST M S Allen (Letters, September 14 re Sawtry sex-shop) buys a dictionary and looks up the meaning of the word "desolate" - isolated, unpopulated, deserted, wild or barren.

Dartmoor or Dungeness maybe, but not a village of almost 6,000 people with pubs, shops, churches, schools, businesses and a sports centre, to name a few.

It may be a bit dull, granted. Peaceful would be another word. I can't remember the last time we had a drive-by shooting or a riot. Still, you can't have everything.

While we are all entitled to our opinion, the recent publicity about a sex-shop opening does not give somebody the right to berate the whole village.

We live here. We can't all live in a bustling cosmopolitan metropolis like St Ives. The excitement could kill us.

Nimbyism of the worst kind? Is that a serious comment? Objections to a hospital, school or old people's home might rate higher in most people's minds.

In another letter, possible alternative uses are suggested. I would rather live near a sex-shop than, say, a manure-packing plant, an abattoir or an explosives factory, so I chose to live where I do, which has none of these. However I would object to any of them if they decided to move next door to me.

What purpose do hypothetical alternatives serve? It could be worse? Of course it could, but it could also be better: a supermarket with parking wouldn't be a bad idea. That' something we do need.

Let's get one thing clear. The only reason a company wants to open a sex-shop on the site is because of the passing trade it will attract from the A1. If their trade was really to be based on potential sales from the local population, it would open in a larger town like St Ives, St Neots or Huntingdon.

Should this application fail, might I suggest the company concerned makes another application in St Ives (pop 16,000) or Somersham (pop 4,000)? They'd get at least two enthusiastic customers. Although, if it succeeds, it sounds like the 'for sale' board won't be the only thing going up in St Ives.

STEVE PONCIA

The Gardens

Sawtry