Green with Eden Envy?

Cllr John Williams looks a little poorly, despite the grin. His senior Taunton Deane colleagues are equally off-colour. They have all been complaining vociferously about plans down the motorway in Devon to build a new complex of shops and leisure facilities called “Eden Westwood”. Their voices are so strident that I have taken the trouble to examine them because it looks suspiciously like a large case of old-fashioned jealousy, washed down with a large glass of vintage sour grapes. Eden Westwood is the latest dream of Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of Cornwall’s highly successful Eden Project. Sir Tim develops genuinely imaginative ideas, raises the capital to complete them and puts energy and enthusiasm into selling them to the public. His background is environment and business. He is a very good operator indeed. Eden Westwood is no written-on-the-back-of-an-envelope fanciful notion. Sir Tim has been planning it for years. But the combined forces of Councillor Williams and his Taunton Deane cronies are now bleating at him across the county border. It is envy tinged with fear. Taunton has been allowed to become Somerset’s sad county town. Eden spells another reason why people may not bother with Taunton.