A FEW years ago, Thornbury could boast of being cited as one of the best places to live in the UK, but now the things that made it so good are being lost or degraded.

The sad news in last week's Gazette, regarding the demise of the very popular quarterly food fairs in Thornbury due to parking being lost to yet more building, was ominous.

It is a very visible example of what is happening, and will likely continue to happen in the town while the town and county councils fail to address the infrastructure issues in the face of much new house building. The plans for the 1,500 new houses are currently unsustainable.

A continual reduction of parking available in the town will progressively strangle much of the business and commerce in the current town such that it may become little more than a dormitory.

The number of jobs in Thornbury has been decreasing for some while with significant business sites becoming residential and as Thornbury's population increases yet more people will have to commute.

The claimed 'easy' access to the motorway network, and trains to London will worsen as no substantial improvement to the capacity of the transport infrastructure to get onto them is planned to accommodate all the commuters from 1,500 new households.

Access to doctors and dentists in the town via the NHS is already difficult. Recently, waiting times for non urgent appointments at the health centre have been three weeks and as much as five weeks.

NHS dental care places are almost as rare as hens teeth. How are an additional 3,300 people going to access healthcare?

Our councils have failed and continue to fail to properly plan for controlled and beneficial enlargement of the town, they have completely let it run way out of control.

Thornbury was conned around 2008/10 into accepting a 'mere' 200 new houses (the thin end of the wedge for developers).

Our local councils told us we would all benefit from more housing which would 'magically' cause the town to flourish and improve.

Two hundred quickly became 500 houses and is now 1,500 and rising.

And where is all the desperately needed new infrastructure?

Without it Thornbury is at risk of no longer being a desirable place to live.

M Handford