At tonight’s meeting of the borough council Executive, the council’s ‘Authority Monitoring Report 2017/18’ will be considered for public release. Sadly, we find the document deficient in its coverage of Camberley. Here is what it says about progress in relation to the ‘Allocated Sites’ in the Town Centre Area Action Plan (AAP).
The first item – commencement of redevelopment of the London Road Block – is shown as Not Applicable. Though, technically, this is true, in practice the redevelopment should have started the year before that covered by the report – and, to all intents and purposes it wasn’t. Rather than N/A, more meaningfully the progress report should show this item in red – ‘target not achieved’.
Secondly, the final item shown – ‘Magistrates Court Site’ – is totally wrong. The site is defined on the council’s ‘Local Plan 2011-2028 Map’, which makes it clear that it is the area of ‘scrub land’ NEXT to King’s Court. Moreover, the AAP says “The site currently comprises the vacant land of the now demolished Magistrates Court.” As this had not been developed in any way during 2017/2018, progress should be shown in red – ‘target not achieved’. Reporting progress at Kings Court itself is irrelevant.
Finally, the Monitoring Report completely fails to mention one AAP Site – the Granary on the corner of Knoll Road*. The AAP says “It is considered that this area could be redeveloped in the short term and provide up to 8 new dwellings, in the form of flats” It also says “Commencement of development by 2016”. So, not only should the Granary be added to the document, it should be shown in red – ‘target not achieved’.
Of course, the AAP includes many other objectives, including – of particular interest to the Eye – provision of rear service roads for the High Street. However, as no timescale is given for this, it’s difficult for the Monitoring Report to say whether progress is on target or not. So it says nothing.
Will the Executive be at all concerned by these limitations? Watch this space….
(*Just in case… The main AAP document doesn’t actually use the wording ‘Allocated Sites’, other than in its glossary, where it explains that such Sites are shown on the “proposals map”. The proposals map doesn’t use the terminology either. So what is, and what isn’t, an allocated site is open to guesswork by lay people.)