Let us hope council is taking notice

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We can only hope that the council will take note of recent letters to the News Guardian and reconsider the proposed expenditure of £1m to £1.5m on a glaringly inappropriate visitors’ centre opposite St Mary’s Lighthouse.

As Samuel Fisher says (News Guardian, January 1) the money set aside for this scheme “would have greater impact if spent closer to the heart of the seafront” – some of it, perhaps, on refurbishing, rather than demolishing, the Boardwalk Café, which will occupy a focal point at one end of the line, should plans for a coastal train come to fruition.

Modernisation of the toilet block at Watts Slope, plus the installation of beach showers, which will no doubt attract visitors to this area of the beach, which also emphasises the desirability of investing in a café on the traditional site between north and south promenades, rather than paying out millions for some huge glass-and-metal structure which will disrupt wildlife and destroy an as-yet unspoilt headland (for remember, expenditure inevitably exceeds predictions).

If those visiting the lighthouse need refreshments, why not a small shop or café tucked away in one of the cottages on the island itself – where, I seem to remember, there used to be one, when I first came to Whitley Bay, and/or a less obtrusive construction – perhaps an eco-building with a turfed roof “located at the first car park on the headland”, as suggested by Brian Nicholls (News Guardian, January 10)?

Gillian Swanson

Whitley Bay