What will The Mall look like in the future?

For quite a while, Camberley’s Mall owners have been promising that they will upgrade the current Mall premises this year.  A figure of £4.5 million has been mentioned as the cost involved.

A planning application for a ‘mock up’ of the new-look Mall has now been submitted.  The mock up – if approved – will be outside the O2 shop.  This is apparently what it will look like:

O2 upgrade

It looks like the new ‘cladding’ will hide the walkways over the shop fronts.  This could make the Mall look narrower inside than at present.  Will  this matter?  Fortunately, there are promising omens – the Mall has close links with the Kingfisher Centre in Redditch, and the Kingfisher Centre has been improved in recent years so that it now looks quite smart..

One flat opposite many!

Directly opposite the new, large blocks of flats at the top of the Frimley Road is the former kitchen showroom.  It appears that the landlord has given up trying to find a new retail tenant;  a planning application has been submitted for the “Change of Use of ground floor from showroom to No. 1 one-bed flat”.

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It’s slightly surprising that the address of this showroom is 1, Frimley Road, as it’s a little way down from the A30.  However, that’s how it is!

 

New floor at the Travelodge

By ‘new floor’, we don’t just mean a few vinyl tiles.  No, it’s a complete additional floor in the previously empty corner unit of the building.  We wonder why.  But very visible are rolls of acoustic wadding – if you look from Pembroke Broadway you can see the stuff lining the windows of the new upper floor.  We’re not sure whether that’s to keep the noise in, or out!

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Freedom of Information Request

If you read the Eye earlier this week, you’ll know that we submitted a formal enquiry to the borough council about one of the lifts in Main Square car park.  We’ve now received an answer – and, as promised, we’re publishing it here:

FOI reply

So, pity the poor souls who stand by the lift door at the top of the car-park, waiting for the lift to come.  It never will – and they’ll never know why.

Parking – a sledgehammer to crack a nut…

Regular readers may remember that our ‘Christmas Card’ showed a long-standing ‘Lift Out of Order’ sign on one of the lifts in Camberley’s Main Square car park.

The lift appears to be still out of order, and we cannot see any evidence that it is being repaired in any way.  So, in desperation, we have submitted a Freedom of Information Request to the borough council.  This is what it says – we’ll publish what the council tells us in response.

FOI request

It really ought not to be necessary to submit a FOI request for such matters.  A simple explanatory note on the lift door would have been sufficient.  But we feel that the borough council’s instinct is always to pull up the council office drawbridge, rather than to communicate simply and openly.  As professionals, they ought to know better.

(Talking about communication, there’s NO ‘Out of Order’ sign on the top floor of the car park.  Poor punters can stand there and push the ‘Call’ button, but they’ll go nowhere if they do.)

A bit of SHBC common sense…

If our memory serves us correctly, when there was a smattering of snow on the ground last year the borough council closed off Level 3A of Main Square multistorey car park.  The reason being that it was slippery.  Given that anyone who wanted to park there must have already driven in traffic on slippery roads, the caution was excessive.

Anyway, common sense has broken out.  This year there’s a pragmatic ‘snowflake’ warning to drivers, and nothing more.  Nothing more is needed.

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If you care about our train service, don’t forget….

Don’t forget the on-line questionnaire that’s asking for views about our train service.  These will will be taken into account when the new franchise to run the service is awarded later this year.

Stakeholder consultationb

The full explanation, which  you’ll need before answering the questionnaire, is HEREhttp://wp.me/p3Dlu2-24p.  The questionnaire is HERE: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PBMTHYB  (Apologies to Facebook readers – one or both links here might not be visible for a few hours – we’ll sort the problem soonest, so do come back and look again later.)  THE DEADLINE IS 9TH FEBRUARY – but don’t leave it until then, just in case…

There’s an additional complication.  It’s not obvious exactly what the franchise will include.  According to Transport for London (TfL):

“We are proposing a new partnership between the DfT (Department for Transport) and TfL that will provide strategic direction to the specification and management of rail passenger services across London and the South East.

The partnership will work closely with train operators, Network Rail and others. Local and regional bodies will have an important role, providing a stronger voice for local people.

We are also proposing to complete the transfer of responsibility from the DfT to TfL for inner suburban rail services that operate mostly or wholly within Greater London. This will include some trains to and from Cannon Street, Charing Cross, London Bridge, Moorgate, Victoria and Waterloo. These transfers will take place over the next few years.”

The current franchise under which Camberley trains operate includes Waterloo suburban rail services of course.  It seems that the scope of the franchise could be reduced somewhat by this change?

 

 

 

John Lewis to open £30 million store in the High Street

Sadly, the High Street concerned is in Cheltenham.

CheltenhamIt’s just over two years since we commented positively on the fact that Cheltenham’s high street – in contrast to Camberley’s – was pedestrianised.  (You can read what we wrote herehttp://wp.me/p3Dlu2-tx).  Did John Lewis read what we wrote?  Their new store will be just where the road bends in the distance in our photograph above.

Cheltenham