The proposal to demolish the Victorian Athletic Stores building in central Belfast is surely vandalism - the removal of part of the city's heritage which reflects the great strength, vitality and importance of Belfast in the world more than a century ago. I now hear that another part of Belfast's historical Sailortown also faces the chop.
Other cities take pride in their history; those cities which do not live to regret it. Belfast must distinguish itself from other 'me too' cities.
We must cultivate/retain something unique in Belfast, so that the city is attractive for people to live in, for visitors to come and see and for investors to find a compelling reason to invest.
Throughout the British Isles, there is often a sameness about city centres, with little thought given to retaining their individuality.
We do not need to follow those mistakes. Belfast needs to preserve its past without getting impaled upon it.
Belfast needs the appointment of a city architect who can look critically at and guide the development of the city, thus ensuring that we get the best design to help rejuvenate the city.
CLLR TOM EKIN (ALLIANCE)
Belfast City Council