This photograph shows the shape of the ugly block of 250 high-density cramped flats for students which is now being built in Magdalen Street, Colchester.

If people think this is appalling, and in size and density out of keeping with the existing street scene, then just think how even grotesquely worse is the proposed larger development of 330 student flats on the former bus station site which would destroy the setting of the Roman Wall when viewed from Priory Street.

Does anyone seriously believe that York or Chester councils would for a moment have contemplated allowing such developments so close to their historic walls?

Colchester’s city walls are the oldest in Britain, which makes the philistine thinking of the council’s cabinet and senior officers even worse.

Both schemes have been promoted for student accommodation by Colchester Council on sites where it is the owner, acting in a manner more akin to money-grabbing property speculators rather than showing vision towards what is in the best long-term interests for Colchester.

Instead a quick fix asset stripping has occurred rather than the council recognising its responsibility as custodian of our unique heritage.

It is to be hoped that a Government-appointed planning inspector, at a public inquiry in October, will look at the awful development now taking shape in Magdalen Street and conclude that an even uglier development on the site of the former bus station should not be permitted.

Sir Bob Russell

Catchpool Road, Colchester