Weighing the pros and cons of having a large new factory nearby
It has just been announced that a company wishes to build a large new factory near one of the suburbs of our town. The announcement appears to have split the town in half. One half is in favour of the project; the other half is vehemently opposed to the idea.
Those who are against the project say that it is entirely inappropriate to build a factory so close to a residential suburb. They claim that it will be dirty, noisy and could have a damaging effect on the environment because of potential air pollution and industrial waste.
The people who are in favour of the scheme say that this claim is based on experiences gained from old-fashioned factories of the past. They point out that the factory which is being proposed is one which will make computer components. There will be no large blackened chimneys belching smoke, as was the case with old-style factories, and there will be no adverse effect on the environment, since the most stringent safety regulations will be in place.
Another claim made by the objectors is that the town’s traffic problems will increase considerably. These problems are already very serious, especially during the rush hours. Even at other times of the day, the town virtually grinds to a halt with the sheer volume of traffic. Objectors say that the town simply cannot cope with the extra traffic that the factory will bring.
Those in favour of the factory admit that the town’s traffic congestion is a great cause for concern. However, they say that the traffic situation has already reached crisis point. The problem has to be dealt with now, whether or not the factory is built.
Proponents of the scheme also point out that, at the moment, the worst of the traffic is coming into the centre of the town from the suburbs. The factory workers will either already live in the suburb where the factory is, or they will be going there from the town centre or from another suburb. In other words, they are likely to be going against the flow of traffic and are not likely to add to the congestion to any marked extent.
In fact, advocates of the scheme say that the new workers are likely to improve the traffic situation by bringing attention to the need for a better public transport system between the suburbs and the city centre. This would draw a much-needed emphasis to the importance of public transport in general. At the moment, they say far too much attention is being paid to the private car.
Opponents of the scheme claim that building a factory in that particular area will spoil the environment because it is one of the prettiest suburbs, and it is located very close to an area of natural beauty. However, that claim is largely being made by people who live in that suburb and who, understandably, do not want to experience the decrease in property prices that the presence of a factory might well cause.
In fact, the area of natural beauty is really quite a distance from the proposed site of the factory. Also, the prospective owners of the factory have promised to landscape the factory site so that it will look very attractive.
What convinces me that the new factory is an advantage is the number of new jobs that it will bring to the area. There is a great deal of unemployment in this area and the factory would provide hundreds of new jobs. That is certainly a good enough reason for me to be in favour of the factory.