Rather than the apathy and disinterest displayed by local councillors regarding the garden communities proposals, I see only well meaning amateurs out of their depth.

We see this not only in the inability to agree how to meet housing needs but in the lacklustre approach to the Cultural Quarter.

As someone who recently moved to the area but who has travelled widely around the UK, I expected to see the town proudly showing off the fabulous historical legacy which Colchester possesses.

Instead, councillors promote a scheme which will cause damage.

On a visit to Firstsite, I was impressed by the imagination of the building but underwhelmed by the use of space.

Significantly, the most exciting item on display was a section of Roman tile flooring yet there appears to be a negligent disregard for the artefacts which the proposed development will pile through.

What is underground will be covered with architecture of extreme banality in a student enclave.

A case could be made for a conference centre using rooms emptied over the summer but I have seen no such ideas expressed.

A mixed residential development which includes older people is surely the way to bring life to the town.

For heaven's sake, Colchester is surrounded by a Roman wall. There is a Saxon tower in the centre. I understand there is evidence of a Roman circus. A marvellous museum stands inside a medieval castle.

There would not be any prospect of raising the money to create what is standing or lying under our feet.

The council's lack of vision, which leads to doing no more than just fill a space, is deeply depressing.

John O'Donnell

Woodstock, West Mersea