‘Developer leading us all to where the sun don’t shine’

i WAS somewhat perplexed to find that the main computer generated image of the revised marina proposal for the promenade that featured prominently on the front page of last week’s Larne Times was misrepresentative.

Anyone that knows the geographic orientation of the promenade area will also know that the direction that the shadows are being cast by the bystanders and the tree in the foreground would lead you to believe that the sun is shining from the direction of due north. The smaller CGI on page two showed the sun in a similar aspect.

Now, this either means that the developers are expecting Larne promenade to move across the equator and take up a position in the southern hemisphere before construction begins (perhaps as a result of the Earth’s predicted great celestial upheaval at the end of the Ancient Mayan calendar on 21st December, 2012) or more simply, the sun is placed in such a way as to provide a more photogenic sunlit aspect for the buildings in the background. We must assume that the second scenario is slightly more credible than the first (though you never know, come December!).

The lighting is a subtle touch on a computer generated image, but equally a very important one, as it informs the viewer (perhaps even subconsciously) that they can expect that the real experience (when built) will be very similar to the digital representation they’re now studying. People would indeed be forgiven to assume that they might imagine themselves going to watch the boats come and go in a lovely sun-drenched marina, just like they do during their holidays on the French Mediterranean coast. The main difference however (setting aside the actual heat of the sun in more southerly latitudes) is that the harbours and marinas of the Mediterranean all tend to face south towards Africa, not north towards the North Pole.

The irony of the situation is that if we look around the rest of Larne, we actually do also possess a south-facing shoreline on our doorstep thanks to the presence and shape of Larne Lough. This is unlike the vast majority of other coastal settlements who are stuck with only one coastal seafront aspect.

In order to stand any chance at winning the hearts and minds of the people of Larne, all potential developers (of marinas or otherwise) need first and foremost to present their case in a clear, accurate and unambiguous way to the public.In this instance and perhaps quite unintentionally, the developer has produced a falsity that would need to be urgently corrected to regain credibility. After all in this case, how can the people of Larne have confidence that a proposed £42.5 million investment for the town can be properly delivered, if at the very outset, something as basic and fundamental as the direction of the sun (and all that implies for the nature and character of any development) is simply forgotten about or ignored?

“Sunny Jim”,

Name and address withheld