While Tim Young takes the heat from the public over the cultural quarter, Nick Barlow, who represents Castle ward and is councillor responsible for commercial services, has done a good job at avoiding to appear to take responsibility.

In fact, it seems as though it is almost exclusively Tim who is speaking for the project.

Perhaps the Gazette could dedicate a column to Nick Barlow's stance on the project seeing as he should be primarily responsible for this development.

I'm sure his residents would love to know why he's supporting such a universally unpopular scheme.

Our councillors should take into account if we continue to build hundreds of student houses in large pile-em-high developments like this we will not create integrated communities.

One of the large reactions against purpose-built student accommodation blocks like this are the local community feels like there is a loss of identity.

This development will not integrate communities, it will create a large block of flats that only students will visit and, by virtue of being just a block of flats, I fail to see how this will entice businesses and people.

The proposal is clearly centred around student flats, not retail or arts.

The retail units and arts facilities are simply the developers throwing a bone to the council and meeting a few requirements.

We have a unique site which is obviously important to the local community and is brimming with all sorts of archaeological finds.

Just on a short inspection with no digging, protesters found pieces of bone, tusk, animal teeth, pottery that possibly dates to the Medieval period or Roman Greyware, piece of pottery from the early 20th century, Roman brick.

We need a plan that includes an cultural attraction of some sort, one that could emphasise our history, we cold have an open space of some sort with a public work built by local artists or a market.

We could have some building too, just not a dense blot on the landscape.

An alternative plan could be devised by the community very quickly if you allow them time.

Victoria Weaver
Labour activist
Ipswich Road, Colchester

Editor's note: Ms Weaver questioned Mr Barlow on the cultural quarter at Wednesday's cabinet meeting and he agreed to meet with campaigners.