MY wife and two children came to live in Sale in 1975.

We still live in Sale, 44 years on.

Sale as a residential area has provided us with everything families need. Reliable transport links, Metro and bus services to central Manchester, Altrincham and now far beyond including Manchester International Airport. A large leisure centre. Exceptional schools, wonderful parks, convenient road and motorway links.

On the door step, too, we have the villages of Ashton On Mersey, Sale Moor, Timperley and Hale.

Regrettably, Sale Moor is no longer the shopping centre it used to be.

It had three banks and two or even three of the same trades ie butchers, grocers, greengrocers, hairdressers all of whom were successful.

Now, Sale Moor has numerous take-aways and cafes and lacks the old atmosphere.

Unfortunately, Sale town centre, too, has lost its charm. It is now soulless and characterless. It has succumbed to modernity.

Sale does possess useful shopping outlets; obviously Tesco, Sainsbury's, Aldi and Wilko’s feature, but it is also brimful of charity and cut-price shops.

No longer are there any classy shops ­— they are now relocated to the Trafford Centre, otherwise known as the Cathedral to Commercialism.

Some retailers show little respect to the shopper. The presentation of their retail units hold little appeal. In truth they are depressingly tired, scruffy and uninviting.

I don’t believe the planned redevelopment of Sale town centre will alter that sombre impression.

What is proposed is an unimaginative massive concrete and glass jungle. No smooth edges, no attractive architecturally interesting features to draw the eye and no mention of restful landscaped garden locations or sensory areas for children to entice families to relax.

The choice of retailers should essentially be highly selective in order to ensure a sensible balance of quality shopping opportunities none cheap and nasty and none excessively expensive.

Leases should incorporate a legal obligation for the retailers to maintain a high level of internal and external presentation.

Part of the centres manager's duty should be to monitor this to ensure continuous compliance.

Finally, it is highly likely that the rents and business rates will be set pip-squeekingy high.

Instead such outgoings should commence at reasonable levels to give the businesses the opportunity and time to settle in.

Thereafter they can be raised, perhaps in line with an appropriate index that won’t see rent review rises be “excessive” but fair, realistic and manageable.

All-in-all I present a complete mix of sense and sensibility emotions, opinions and suggestions in the hope that there might be a review of the plans so as to provide a town centre which is fully fit for purpose, desirable. A centre for all to have pride in and to visit, thus ensuring its long-term future for generations to come.

Stan Nagel